News & Blog

The time for businesses to act on single-use plastic is now

Written by: Jack Barrie, Co-Founder of Glasgow Over Plastic

Image of guest blog writer Jack Barrie

Guest blog writer Jack Barrie

Plastic is everywhere. The cheap, versatile and durable properties of plastic means that it has invaded almost every aspect of our lives from our diet, hygiene, clothing, furniture, sports equipment, packaging and transport. It has allowed us to invent millions of products to solve even life’s smallest problems.

Yet, for anyone who watched Blue Planet Two, the major consequences of consuming so much plastic are becoming devastatingly obvious. Plastic affects human health through the leaching of toxins, hormone disrupters and carcinogens. It also permanently damages our oceans, where nearly 700 marine species, many of which are endangered, are known to have been affected by plastic strangulation, ingestion and poisoning.

The most recent National Geographic issue (June 2018) suggested the plastic crisis should be likened to the scale of the impacts associated with climate change. However, there is a key difference between climate change and plastic waste. No-one is denying the scale of the plastic problem and we do not need to re-invent the entire global energy system to solve the problem – we just need to go plastic free.

Thankfully, global awareness on the devastating consequences of mass plastic consumption is spreading. Grassroots movements are springing up around the world such as Glasgow Over Plastic – a social enterprise helping companies save money, improve staff welfare and reduce their environmental footprint through reducing single-use plastic in Glasgow.

At the global scale, the European Commission proposed a ban on plastic straws, cutlery, plates, drink stirrers, cotton buds and sticks for balloons. The United Nations also announced an ambitious global ban on any plastic from entering our oceans.

Legislation on plastic production and waste is getting stricter and consumers are moving away from products that contain plastic in droves and companies that don’t act accordingly will lose customers and profits drastically. As such, global companies are racing to act on this growing market need and future proofing their business by making the switch from being plastic polluters to plastic free pioneers.

Morrison’s pledged to swap plastic grocery bags for paper bags. Iceland supermarket confidently stated they would go entirely plastic free in five years. Some of the biggest companies in the world including PepsiCo, Unilever and Amco have pledged to convert to 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

If your company wants to ride the plastic free wave and publicly demonstrate its commitment to tackling the growing plastic crisis, then simply sign up to the Glasgow Over Plastic Plastic Business Promise.

By signing up, you will join a growing network of local businesses committed to challenging the universal problem of plastic waste. Through collaboration, sharing ideas and implementing impactful local solutions, Glasgow’s citizens and businesses stand to make a real difference.

#sendplasticpacking and make your promise today.

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