Guest Post by Erika Mastrorosa*
With its toxic impact on humans, animals and environment, plastic pollution is a global emergency we can no longer overlook. In our everyday lives, many of us rely on disposable plastic packaging. Although plastic has been made to last forever, 33% is only used once. Plastic cannot biodegrade, it just breaks into smaller pieces and pollutes the environment, affecting every living being.
There are traces of plastic chemicals in our blood and tissues and even babies are born pre-polluted. It has been estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Plastic pollutes our food and threatens wildlife and environment, this without considering the enormous cost of plastic use in the consumer goods sector, which amounts to circa $75 billion per year.
There are FIVE things we do to reduce our plastic footprint.
- Eliminating virgin plastic bottles
- Eliminating plastic packaging for food
- Using alternative mixtures in manufacturing
- Introducing a deposit return scheme
- Choosing reusable cups and bottles
Over the coming weeks we’ll tell you about each one. This week we’ll start with Eliminating virgin plastic bottles.
Eliminating virgin plastic bottles
Single-use plastic packaging is a major issue when it comes to plastic footprint. Many organisations are trying to roll back the effects of plastic pollution by either collecting plastic waste or dispose of it in the proper way. Albeit now necessary, this retroactive intervention should go hand in hand with the effort to avoid the production of any polluting packaging.
At the beginning of the year, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation together with WRAP have sponsored an initiative to tackle the issue of plastic waste in the UK. They refer to the programme as a ‘holistic initiative’ that will change life-cycle of plastic. In line with the circular economy system the Foundation promotes, their tenet is to make sure that the resources are used over and over again.
Through better design, we can eliminate single use plastics, make plastic packaging 100% recyclable and guarantee that each new product contains at least 30% of recycled plastic.
Recently, Coca-cola has pledged to recycle every bottle by 2030. This sustainable packaging goal– as they have named it – comes after a petition signed by over half a million people. With its “World Without Waste” vision, Coca-cola has also pledged to invest more resources in educating the public on how and what to recycle.
Although some might say that it is too little too late, businesses and organisations are trying to provide long-term plans to reduce their plastic footprint and benefit the environment.
Another example of this is Ecover, whose ‘Clean Plastic’ programme is the core of the company. Through a make-use-reuse-recycle policy, Ecover’s mission is to provide a leading example for manufacturers to use more sustainable materials and reuse them as much as possible.
Stay tuned to find out about Eliminating plastic packaging for food!
*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.