Thanks to Blue Planet 2 the plastic crisis the world is currently facing is now at the forfront of environmental conversation. Whilst talk of latte levies and bottle deposit schemes get discussed (initiatives that focus on consumer responsibility), what are companies currently doing?
At Fruit Towers this week* I attended a panel debate hosted by Innocent Drinks, and listened to debates and examples of sustainable material practice, such as Innocent's 2022 goal to produce all its bottles from 100 percent recycled/plant based renewable materials (plant based examples include using molasses, the by-product from sugar cane), which they evidenced as being well on their way to comfortably achieving with current recycled/renewable material levels per bottle at 65 percent.
A lot of the debates from panellists such as Vegware, Compass Group and Leanpath, centred on the need for a stronger stance on recycling education amongst consumers, increasing the number of waste management facilities and widening consumer plastic tax from carrier bags to all plastic packaging. For me though, I hope that when Defra imminently releases its Waste and Resources Strategy that recommendations will focus on the introduction of legislation that prohibit single use packaging in supply chains - effectively making corporations responsible for the collection of the material they choose to use after a consumer has finished with it. In my mind I feel only when enforced responsibility is placed on corporations will we have a truly circular economy on a meaningful scale!
* (Yes the offices like the name were hugely funky: think hipster with a touch of quirkiness!)