Sustainable Packaging Is Delayed

Sustainable Packaging Is DelayedSustainable Packaging Is Not A New Topic

For decades, plastic pollution and landfill sites have been an ongoing topic of concern, yet little has been done.

The quest for sustainable packaging has been a topic since the 1980’s as recycling became an important topic.

Keep Britain Tidy was a common saying on waste bins in parks up and down the country, yet 30 years on, we still have major issues as it appears that sustainable packaging is delayed.

Recycle your plastic at home, we all have a recycling bin which is collected by the council twice a month.  But how much of it is send to landfill?

The great ocean cleanup project has been collecting plastic from our oceans, but how does it get there in the fits place?

How often do you look out your window while driving and see litter on the sides of the roads and motorways.  So much of it, but is it all drivers throwing it out their windows?

Back in the day, our milk was delivered by milkmen, and the glass bottles returned for cleaning and reuse.  Now Tetrapak dominates the milk packaging sector, producing plastic bottles plastic seals and plastic lids.

The Packaging Problem Is Global

If you thought Britain had problems, developing nations like China and India with their huge populations have even bigger issues which are getting worse by the day.

Plastic is put into mountains, put into landfill sites, and also burned.

The single use plastic problem is global, not just an issue for the UK.

Why Has The Plastic Problem Not Been Solved?

Packaging design companies are partly to blame, however the problem goes back to the businesses that require the packaging.  McDonalds, Starbucks, Sainsbury’s, Heinz are all companies that use packaging and can easily switch to sustainable eco friendly packaging.

Why do companies continue to use plastic in their products and packaging.

The clothes you are wearing most likely have plastic in them rather than natural fibres.

The UK government is very aware of the issue and are trying to tackle this issue along with everything else including a global pandemic.

How long will it be before we can close the chapter on the plastic problem?

Exporting Plastics To Developing Countries

Many countries are exporting plastic waste to third world counties (particularly in Africa) to make our problem theirs.

Great swathes of South America have waste pilled up, just to get it out of sight and out of mind.

There have been videos of huge piles of tyres being burned, releasing toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

Does Plastic Cause Cancer?

Microplastic is another issue, not effecting the environment but our human bodies.

We all consume micro plastics since food packaging is plastic, cups, plates, the list goes on.  Whether they cause cancer or long term health issues is as yet unknown.  However the reality is that cancer is becoming more common, so chances are ingesting petroleum based plastic is not going to bring health benefits.

Beach CleanupPlastics In The Ocean

In 2019, before Coronavirus landed, we all saw the pictures in the news of plastic pollution.

This was a particular problem in developing nations and in the pacific, due to ocean currents plastics move with the tide.

Even with the pandemic, discarded face masks create major environmental issues.

Beach cleanup schemes have become popular to try and ease the problem, but this is a bandage on the wound, the changes need to be done at the top.

The great ocean cleanup has been running for over 10 years now, but what difference has it made?  How does the plastic get into the oceans in the first place?

Can We Live Without Plastic?

The simple answer is no, we cannot live without plastic.  Plastic has become so central to our lives, that removing it now would be impossible.

However, small changes can be made.

Plastic carrier bags can be switched for fabric.  Plastic toothbrushes can be switched to wooden ones and so on.

However if we all make simple choices, this will not take plastic components out of our cars, out of our homes.

The future is not looking good considering the progress that has been made in the last 30 years.  Maybe this should be a topic at the next G7.

Is Marketing The Problem?

Is marketing the problem, are countries and companies failing to communicate the issues and try to solve the problem through education?

We all remember learning about deforestation and global warming in school, as well as the dangers of smoking, but the problem still remains 30 years on.

Marketing is not the problem, we are all aware of the damage plastic causes.  Yet we are surrounded by plastic, from the clothes you are wearing, the computer you are using, the packaging your dinner for tonight is in.

The plastic problem sadly is not going away, and marketing is not the problem.  We are all aware of the issues, as we are about global warming.

Who is responsible for fixing the problem, changing what we can use to replace the plastics we rely on?

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