Single-use Plastic Ban
The subject of single-use plastic was a major point for debate at this week’s Liberal Democrat Party Conference. MP Alistair Carmichael suggested that the Government should be doing more to tackle the problem and presented the idea of a complete UK ban on single-use plastics within 3 years.
Many companies are taking steps to reconsider and redesign their packaging, but the rate of change is slow. The party suggested that a clear deadline would prompt the level of action needed to tackle the scale of the problem. It recognised that there would be considerable challenges in some industries, but that a tough stance was required.
Alternatives to Single-use Plastic Packaging
As a packing material, plastic does have a number of clear benefits. If your industry has reliably used plastic for decades, then it can be difficult to build trust in other packaging materials. If it works, then it is easier just to keep doing what you’ve always done. A ban would certainly force action, but it is always better to make the decision proactively.
New biodegradable plastic alternatives are being developed, but it may just be that the solution is already out there. As a few examples, plastic and polystyrene containers have been a packaging staple for the takeaway food industry. In recent years, a growing number of fish and chip shops, kebab bars and curry houses have switched to strong, sustainable corrugated cardboard boxes.
The cardboard is sufficiently robust for transporting the food home and its natural insulating properties help to retain the heat. Although the cardboard box isn’t suitable for recycling after containing sauces and grease, it is easily biodegradable. It’s low-cost packaging with a low environmental impact.
Could your business make the switch to Cardboard?
If you have questions about the viability of cardboard boxes, tubes or flat corrugated sheets as a replacement for your single-use plastic packaging, get in touch with Aylesbury Box Company. Corrugated cardboard is a surprisingly versatile material, we know its potential, as we work with it every day and we could help you to take action before bans, or other measures, come into force.
Everyone Taking Responsibility
We can look to politicians to set the agenda. We can put the emphasis on businesses to take action, but it is only when we all take responsibility that significant change can be made. There are some great examples in Devon, where 126 communities have been tacking plastic waste. They are collectively making the steps towards becoming plastic free.
Devonshire Councils have ceased to use plastic cups in their buildings and are installing free water fountains within the community. Cafes are no longer providing plastic straws and offering water refill services. Families are getting involved in beach and countryside clean up events. In these communities, awareness is being raised and their approach is positive and collaborative.
Simple steps like using a refillable water bottle, making good use of recycling facilities and providing customers with paper bags and cardboard boxes are small steps, but they make a difference.