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Do something drastic, cut the plastic!

Posted 14 August Josef Hoccom

Sustainability is on everybody’s lips currently. With this increased awareness around environmental and ethical issues, there has become a mounting pressure towards companies to be more transparent about how they operate.

Zara recently hit the news stating they will tackle becoming a sustainably viable company. Pablo Isla, the company’s elusive chief executive, recently laid out plans for its future which revealed ambitions for 100% of its cotton, linen, and polyester being organic, sustainable, or recycled by 2025. This is a fantastic step in the right direction for companies to take responsibility for climate issues.

Technology over the years has supported us to become more efficient, reduce waste and improve services. We see the future coming to rely heavily on technology to help companies like Zara achieve their sustainability goals.

Traditionally recycling and using sustainable packaging is the starting point for companies to make a difference. From completely changing packaging, as Itsu have done by changing their food wrappers to recyclable paper-based materials, through to companies removing packaging altogether. Waitrose recently completed a packaging-free trial where they encouraged customers to bring their own reusable containers to challenge the ideals of everything has to be plastic wrapped.

But with many products still being unable to be recycled and reaching landfill, the problem is still apparent. We see lots of the issues around plastic recycling and specifically black plastics unable to be detected by recycling machines and therefore end up in landfill.

Unilever, alongside many others, is a company that has committed to The Wrap.orgs UK Plastics Pact and have started altering their business plan to become more sustainable. Notably, because it is widely known that black plastic packaging Is notoriously bad for the environment. They have developed a plastic colouring solution with waste management companies so this type of wrapping on their products can be recycled. Their black-bottled brands like Lynx and TRESemmé have now started to introduce these pigments. By the end of 2019, 2500 tonnes could be removed from landfill and successfully repurposed into other products.

Recently we have had the added pressure of making sure that within the next 18 months we have to make a sustainable change as a society to really impact the future of the planet. The sense that the end of 2020 is the last chance saloon for climate change is looming closer.

Without ingenuities and the development of new technologies that can provide solutions to our waste management problems, we run the risk of running out of resources. Doing irreversible damage to the world. It is great to see that many companies are understanding their responsibility and making changes that will impact the future right now.

Remember reduce, reuse, recycle!

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