Plastic Is Out, Sustainability Is In
The days of single-use plastics are numbered. Seattle, in 2018 became the first US city to ban single-use plastic cutlery. Starbucks joined them adopting a plan to eliminate plastic straws by 2020. Several airlines joined by phasing out single-use plastic straws and stirrers.
The anti-plastic movement has became so entrenched that “single-use” was named the word of the year in 2018 by Collins Dictionary. Even though the world’s plastic pollution problem isn’t over, public awareness about the plastics issue and policy actions are growing.
Governments Opt Out of Single-Use Waste
Recently, the European Union voted to abandon single-use plastics by 2021 and New York will join California and Hawaii in banning single use plastic bag bans by 2020. Peru is the latest country to restrict single-use plastics. Peru’s visitors will no longer be able to carry in single-use plastics into its protected natural and cultural areas.
Plastics aren’t the only thing on the single-use chopping block. Polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, has been targeted by Maryland. The state has given foam food packaging the boot as the latest contributor in the effort to reduce single-use waste. While cities such as New York City, Seattle, and Miami already ban polystyrene, Maryland will be the first state.
Businesses Opt For Reusable Innovations
While legislators are creating plastics bans, businesses are transitioning to sustainable packaging. ALDI, a supermarket chain that serves more than 40 million customers each month, has announced all packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
Additionally, major brands have committed to selling products in reusable containers under Loop, a project partnership between TerraCycle and brands such as Tropicana, Axe, Tide, and Haagen-Dazs. Since 40 percent of all plastic produced is used in packaging, the Loop project is poised to effect significant change. The pilot project will roll out to customers in New York City and Paris during 2019.
The Sustainability Solution
Concern for the planet is at an all-time high, and millennials are twice as likely to pay more for a sustainable product than older generations. With sustainable packaging winning customer loyalty, businesses that invest in environmentally-responsible goals are more likely to meet the bottom line. Read our sustainable packaging movement blog post to learn more about this industry trend.
Businesses with a third-party certification have proven to an independent organization that they meet a verified standard of sustainability, including responsible packaging. Green America’s Green Business Network seal is the authentic trustmark for social and environmental responsibility and is home to 3,000 certified businesses across the country. Search our greenpages.org to find your next plastic alternative.
Calculate Your Carbon Footprint
If you would like to calculate your Carbon Footprint, follow the link to the free carbon footprint calculator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.