Sustainability aside, having a long term viewpoint on where the global market is heading is good business. If you are part of a supply chain, keeping an eye on where you are sourcing raw materials and confirming compliance with conflict minerals and anti-slavery legislation is increasingly becoming part of any RFQ and tender processes. Creating an agile business provides the strength to anticipate and respond swiftly to market fluctuations – so have you anticipated the ground swell movement against plastic, and in particular single use plastic?
This week, sees the major supermarkets signing up to the UK Plastics Pact which has been launched by WRAP which brings together businesses, NGOs and UK Government to tackle plastic packaging waste by redesigning out waste and establishing reuse with targets set for incorporation of recycled plastics into products. The pact which is the first of its kind in the world is likely to be replicated by other countries. We could be seeing the start of a global groundswell movement against plastic use.
Having images and films showing the effect that discarded plastics have on the ecosystems in our oceans is powerful stuff which has stirred public conscience and resulted in actions. NGOs such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation have long been campaigning to reduce the amount of pollution in our oceans by promoting the circular economy, which provides an alternative from the linear manufacture, purchase, discard, disposal route which is driven by cost and is the model society currently favours.
The alternative is to provide products which are built to last, leased, repaired and replaced with minimal waste for disposal. This not only retains the value of the product and the plastic but reduces the impact of plastic pollution and plastic waste for disposal through reuse and remanufacture.
This week also sees China announcing bans on imports of post consumer plastic by the end of 2018. For several years China has provided a buoyant outlet for reprocessing wastes, and tonnes of our segregated waste plastics have been exported. Without cost effective UK sorting and reprocessing facilities that can provide quality plastic recyclate we will struggle to break free from the linear make, use, dispose approach. The challenge we all face is what will we choose to do about it?
Looking for ways to improve the profitability of your organisation? Come to one of our experiential workshops which focuses on practical ways to identify and eliminate actual and “transactional” wastes using creative thinking. See our welcome page for further details.