‘Planet Plastic’

Today’s shocking news- the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics has shown that since 1950 humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes which is equivalent to 48,000,000 Blue Whales. If you take the 8.3bn tonnes of plastic and spread it out 1-inch high we have calculated that it would cover an area the size of Australia and India combined[1]. It is frightening and on a scale, that is difficult to comprehend.

However, on a slightly more positive note, the results of the analysis now provide us as a nation with the facts and figures to drive change not only for our generations sake but for our children’s and grandchildren’s.  As we emphasise to our clients here at Credibly Green ‘You need to measure it before you can manage it’. The analysis provides a benchmark for change, or indeed revolution.

The figures the analysis have provided are on a mass scale and ideally needs to be dealt with on masse (i.e. nationally). The move from a Linear Model (of make, use, dispose) to a Circular Economy model (reducing or avoiding resource consumption and repairing, recovering and recycling wastes that do arise) will be the driving force behind reducing the mass production of plastics. Policy drivers and industry pioneers incorporating concepts of producer responsibility and responsible packaging for resource efficient supply chains will lead the charge on the Circular Economy.

After attending a conference hosted by CIWM where Paul Vanston CEO of Incpen Support delivered a presentation on packaging, my perception of packaging was changed. At the start of the session Paul wanted to gain an insight into how delegates perceived ‘packaging’. I automatically put my hand up for the answer of ‘negatively’. However, after listening to the presentation I had a more positive perception on packaging. Packaging has been produced for a specific purpose which is to protect and prolong the life span of products. This is so important for reducing food waste issues which are another major waste and environmental issue. Reducing the amount of packaging (in this case plastic) is key, for example let’s take Ferrero Roche’s-  do we need a plastic film to protect a plastic case which encases chocolate truffles which are wrapped in foil which have a sticker on? Surely not! Ensuring that packaging is sustainable and can be recycled also needs to be addressed to improve on the global plastic recycling rate of 9% back in 2015.  So, all in all there are lots and lots of things to think about nationally- something that government needs to drive via policies, and there is an opportunity via the Industrial Strategy.

However, what can we do more locally to mitigate the environmental damage arising from waste plastic?  Has your home area got a litter issue? Our Sister company (Frith Resource Management) provide training to Local Authorities to help deliver against the updated Litter Strategy. This can help reduce the amount of plastic accumulating in the areas we enjoy i.e. parks and beaches.

We (Credibly Green) provide an environmental reporting service nationwide. We provide clients with a carbon report identifying their main environmental impacts. One of the areas we look at within the report is waste management. Our sustainability consultant can provide you with the advice and support to help you whittle down your plastic usage so you can do your bit to stop our beautiful planet and its wildlife becoming a victim of plastic waste. Additionally, our Sustainability Director Dr Julieanna Powell-Turner (expertise in sustainable supply chains) provides a training course ‘Environmental performance in the workplace’ to help educate employees of all levels within an organisation to recognise ways to reduce their environmental impact. The training can be focused around supply chains and help you take incremental steps to ensuring that your supply chains are both resilient and sustainable- which can consider all materials consumption and management.

For more information on how we can help you help the planet please call 01746 552423 or email leanne@crediblygreen.com

[1] Working on an average of 30/kgm3


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