Developing awareness of our environmental impact is the first step in adopting new habits to protect the world around us. Concepts like recycling and the circular economy, or legislation such as the European plastics regulations, are no longer future goals but matters that affect how we work in the present. We are demonstrating our commitment to the planet through action, and
it never hurts to review our list of actions for reducing our environmental impact. It reminds us that we can change how we do things throughout the supply chain and in all sectors. This is just one of the many changes that we are implementing as a result of our commitment to the planet.
Our list of actions is categorised based on who should carry out each one. Though not specifically included on the list, governments and administrations have a vital role to play – without regulatory frameworks and legislation (e.g. for waste management), it will be very difficult to make progress.
CONSUMER ACTIONS TO MINIMISE IMPACT
Consumers have a lot of responsibility. After all, their purchasing habits have the power to change markets. Their impact may be smaller compared to large corporations, but it exists nonetheless and determines how businesses operate.
In order to embrace a more conscious type of consumption (e.g. leaving ‘low cost’ behind and opting for other trends, such as slow fashion), we must stop and think before opening our wallets. The first step is to choose businesses which are committed to the planet. This is not a future challenge but something that is happening now.
Among the many consequences of the ongoing healthcare crisis, consumers have realised the impact of their choices. Local trade, as well as products and businesses which respect the environment, have moved to the top of the list for many people.
BUSINESS ACTIONS TO REDUCE IMPACT
Whether wholesalers or retailers, and regardless of the sector, businesses overall will be the main actors in bringing about change that will require greater commitment to the planet.
There are countless actions businesses can take, depending on the type of raw materials they deal with or their processes. Generally, they encompass the following:
- Favouring environmentally responsible partners.
- Training and informing staff of day-to-day practices that can benefit the planet.
- In terms of logistics (a crucial aspect in any production sector), businesses should prioritise choices that minimise CO2 emissions, e.g. electrifying their land transport fleet.
PLASTICS SECTOR ACTIONS TO REDUCE IMPACT
Lastly, let’s look at what the plastics and plastic packaging sector can do to reduce our environmental impact. Our list is not exhaustive, and we are certain that innovation will help it to continuously expand.
Among other goals, these actions will help us to improve in two key areas: reducing waste, and reducing CO2 emissions. This is about implementing practices and changes in all phases of the manufacturing of our materials and packaging products.
- We apply three principles to our entire production process: reduce, reuse and recycle. This means finding new ways to reduce the amount of raw material used and giving new life to waste material from the packaging manufacturing process and to recycled items.
- Researching and developing biodegradable, compostable and bio-based packaging.
- Incorporating recycled materials into production processes: we want to include a gradually larger percentage of recycled material into our plastics manufacturing process.
- Opting for mono-materials. These are much easier to recycle and constitute a step away from the typical options.
- Helping our partners to recycle: we collect waste multi-layer PET packaging from businesses in the Tray2Tray project, at no cost to them.
Our environmental impact is going down day by day thanks to sustainability innovation – a core aspect of our work and the foundation upon which we want to transform our industry.