Consumer’s Role in Influencing Packaging Materials
The scale of the global plastic problem makes it seem insurmountable. As individuals, we can feel disempowered. Even if we take a stand, how can we possibly make a difference?
On our own, little can change, but we’re not on our own. Millions of people are striving for change, whilst many organisations and environmental groups have been taking active steps towards positive change for years. Join forces and you’ll see that collectively, we can all make a difference.
The consumer voice is powerful and over recent years there have been multiple complaints made to manufacturers regarding the volume of packaging used. Toys, Easter eggs and ecommerce brands are all examples of products that have come under scrutiny. Although there is still room for improvement, this has influenced a reduction in the use of excessive packaging and waste.
The more we demand sustainable packaging and refuse to buy single use plastics, disposable coffee cups and other offenders, the greater the incentive for brands to invest in alternative.
As consumers we can also play an active role. As an example, there are plenty of objections to coffee cups and in response many coffee chains are happy to fill a reusable mug, but how many of us are making use of this service?
If we take action, others will follow and new habits become the norm. We need to adopt the Italian approach to taking a short break in the day to savour their coffee. This is one European country that has never embraced the take away coffee cup. We could follow their example.
Supermarkets are full of plastic packaging and it can seem impossible to avoid. If you are keen to reduce the volume of plastic packaging in your weekly purchases, independent retailers and local farmers markets provide a different way of shopping.
If the supermarket is too convenient to avoid, switching from your usual brand to an alternative, non-plastic wrapped, product can also help. A few changes to the contents of our shopping trolley provide a manageable way to influence change.
No matter where you buy your goods, remember to take a reusable bag. Save yourself the 5p charge, as well as helping the environment!
Make Use of Recycling Facilities
We also need to take responsibility for making best use of recycling services and facilities. Taking time to separate waste and dispose of it using the appropriate bins greatly increases recycling rates. Better use of recycling sites and collections has already proven effective in reducing the volume of waste heading to landfill or our seas, but more can be done.
Challenge a Local Café
If your favourite local café needs a little help with reducing waste, Kids Against Plastic offer useful tips that can easily be implemented. Check out their Plastic Clever page for further information.
We can all look to governments, environmental groups, manufacturers and retailers for solutions, but we can also be responsible for implementing small measures, on an individual scale, that can add up and influence change.
As a cardboard box manufacturer, Aylesbury Box Company works with recycled and recyclable materials all day long. We actively reduce waste and recycle everything possible. We’ve also taken steps to improve the environmental credentials of our manufacturing processes, including a switch to LED lighting.
With cardboard engineering expertise, we’re keen to show how paper-based packaging can be a viable replacement for plastics in many product ranges. Get in touch if this is of interest to your business.