It’s hard to envision a world without plastic. This material of convenience was created in the early 1900s to replace natural materials. However, production of plastic has gotten out of hand. It has surpassed all other man-made materials besides cement and steel and is predicted to increase by an additional 40 percent over the next decade, leading to more plastic pollution.
The growing rate of plastic production is contributing to pollution and waste problems, threatening our wildlife and oceans, and affecting our health. In the face of the plastic pollution crisis, it’s easy to feel hopeless, but with collective action, we can tackle this problem and secure a cleaner society. Attaining a sustainability strategy qualification empowers professionals to lead such change effectively. Keep reading to learn about deplastification and how businesses can lead the way in a plastic revolution.
What is plastic pollution and about deplastification
Plastic pollution is a global issue we are facing. The UN reports that around 7 billion of the 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic created between 1950 and 2017 was rendered plastic waste, being dumped and ending up in landfills. While plastic is a material of convenience, it is only used for a matter of minutes and poses threats to human and animal health.
When plastic is dumped and discarded, it fails to decompose at an efficient rate. This is because plastic is manufactured to last forever. Once it does finally break down, it transforms into smaller pieces of plastic known as microplastics. At this point, the plastic becomes even more harmful because it can enter waterways which means it can then be consumed by living beings.
The effects of plastic pollution on natural processes and habitats are considerable. Plastic pollution reduces ecosystems’ ability to adapt to the climate crisis, which directly impacts millions of people’s livelihoods, social well-being, and food production capabilities. With all of this in mind, we desperately need to discover how to stop plastic pollution and identify solutions toit.
How can we stop plastic pollution?
Businesses can lead the way in fighting our global plastic problem by implementing some small changes in how they operate. Below are some ways businesses can engage in deplastification and plastic pollution solutions.
Eliminate single-use plastics
The first step in how to reduce plastic pollution should be to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastics. This includes items like plastic cutlery, stirrers, cups, and straws used on-site, but also single-use plastics in your products.
Think about what makes up your products and what they are packaged in. To help with this process, you can complete a plastic audit of your business to see where you can make those important changes.
Be honest about where you are on your deplastification journey
Omitting information or not being fully transparent about where you are on your deplastification journey will not help you. This is why you need to get honest about how much plastic your business generates and consumes. In this case, knowledge is power and being aware of your plastic footprint will allow you to make cuts.
Request more sustainable options from suppliers
It’s important to look at your entire value chain so be sure to tell your suppliers about your deplastification mission. Ask them if they have more sustainable options you can use that will help you achieve your objective of reducing plastic waste. Doing this may even encourage them to make changes.
Commit to embracing the circular economy
Finally, commit to embracing the circular economy, whether that be through reuse or upcycling initiatives. Think about the waste your business consumes and how you could potentially extend its lifespan.
Plastic pollution is a pressing issue across the globe and to combat this, we desperately need to drive deplastification. Businesses can lead the way in this revolution by implementing small but significant changes in how they operate. If your organisation is ready to lead by example and embrace the circular economy, our online business sustainability courses curated by experts can help you.