The statistics around plastics are quite a scary read – there are 100 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s oceans, and this figure is set to rise by eight million tonnes a year, while only 10% of plastics currently used have been recycled since recycling’s introduction in the 1960’s.
The consequences on what steps need to be taken remain unclear when we look at the issue on an international level. At an industry level, however the steps being taken are more encouraging.
Many consumer product companies are now committed to increasing the amount of recycling they are part of but more work is required. Unilever raised the bar by doubling the amount of plastic they recycle and Coca Cola are aiming to up the amount they recycle to 50% by 2025 but more commitment needs to be made by all industries globally.
One interesting idea is consumer deposit schemes and reverse vending machines. A number of these have been cropping up in Scotland and are supplied by Scobie McIntosh. The idea is to reward consumers for returning plastics to be recycled and they are being trailed at places like Co-op, Sainsbury’s and Coca-Cola.
All businesses, big and small need to monitor and increase their green footprint, this is arguable one of the biggest topics within most industries today. We have also seen a shift in what consumers expect from corporations so focusing on this is certainly going to be a positive.