Kinder, die Strand reinigen

 

INDUSTRY PLAYERS, GOVERNMENTS AND CONSUMERS ARE COMMITTING FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

Industry players have committed to ambitious goals and formed initiatives and corsortia to act upon the global waste challenge. Here are some examples:

  • A shift to 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is an industry initiative with more than 450 signatories from governments, brand owners and other businesses such as Nestlé, Coca Cola and Apple, aiming to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging (New Plastics Economy, 2019).

  • Nestlé inaugurated an Institute to accelerate functional, safe, and envionrmentally friendly packaging solutions. The Institute of Packaging Sciences focuses on refillable and reusable packaging, simplified packaging materials, recycled materials, high-performance barrier papers, and bio-based, compostable and biodegradable materials (Nestlé, 2019). 

  • Numerous initiatives such as Ocean Conservancy, All One Ocean, Clean Ocean Action, Clean Coasts, or 4Ocean  are providing incentives and opportunites to for companies to remove trash. Corporates, such as Dow, are involving employees, families, friends and customers in their PullingOurWeight Cleanup Campaign.

  • Consortia, such as CEFLEX (Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging) are forming to search for solutions across the value chain.

There is an increasing political will to phase out single-use plastics and reduce waste in the environment. Here are some examples:

  • The EU Circular Economy Package and the European Parliament`s ban on single-use plastics by 2021 (including single-use plastic cutlery, plates, cotton buds, straws and stirrers, food containers and expanded polystyrene cups) (European Parliament, 2019).

  • Bans and levies on packaging have been implemented by e.g. France with an anti-waste law to promote a circular economy. In 2019, France announced to tax packaging made of non-recycled plastic. They also pledged to recycle 100% of plastics by 2025 and phase out all single-use plastics by 2040 (LocGov, 2020).

  • The UN Environment Assembly Resolutions on Marine Litter and Microplastics emphasize the importance of multi-stakeholder cooperation for long-term elimination of plastic discharge into the ocean. Consequently they have established an interagency Task team to support Member States in addressing the global challenge posed by plastic debris and microplastics (UN EMG, 2019). 

Consumers are also becoming more aware of the negative impacts of their consumption behavior. They often want to shift towards better alternatives, nevertheless their decisions are still highly impacted by cost and convenience. 

  • 71% of European consumers consider living an ethical or sustainable lifestyle to be very important (GlobalData, 2016)

  • According to the European Consumer Packaging Perceptions survey, undertaken by consultancy Coleman Parkes Research, 77% of German consumers say that environmental impact of a product’s packaging affects their purchasing choices and 36% of Europeans are already boycotting brands over packaging sustainability concerns (ProCarton, 2018). 

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