Joining the plastic free revolution?
by Ying Li

The tide is finally turning after years of plastic convenience there is a wider awareness of the damage plastic waste is doing to our planet. 

Ever since David Attenborough’s final episode of Blue Planet series highlighted the damage plastic waste was causing to marine life, this proved to be the catalyst for change and brought the issue to global attention. Viewers saw heart breaking footage of a dead baby albatross, its stomach pierced by a plastic toothpick mistakenly fed to it by its mother; then discarded nets strangling fish, birds and turtles, slowly dying after becoming entangled in them.

It’s not just marine life that our plastic pollution is harming, plastic waste also litters our countryside and rivers, harmful to wildlife it comes into contact with. In fact Sir David appeared at Glastonbury a couple of weeks ago to congratulate Glastonbury for going plastic free.

bitmap1Over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging is being used in the UK each year.

In the last century we have produced a lot of plastic, as it is cheap to produce, durable, light and extremely versatile. It helps package our food for ease of transportation and conveniently stacks on shelves in the stores that we all use. But with only 9% of all plastic waste having ever been recycled and over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging being used in the UK alone each year†, many companies are now looking to do the right thing and change to plastic-free alternatives.

Costa has become the first coffee chain to turn their shops into recycling points. Customers can take in any disposable takeaway cup to one of their 2,600 shops in the UK. They will take any brand of disposable and ensure it gets recycled. 

Last week Nestle announced the launch of a snack bar range wrapped in recyclable paper, with the aim to make all their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. The process used to wrap the snack bars was previously only suitable for use with more durable plastic films and laminates.

Waitrose are launching a packaging free trial in their Oxford store, with refillable options for items such as alcohol, rice and cleaning materials. The dedicated refill station will be one of the first to be installed by a UK supermarket.

These are just a few examples of manufacturers waking up to the need for more sustainable practices and how packaging needs an environmental upgrade.

bitmap1Only 9% of all plastic waste has ever been recycled.

This month is #PlasticFreeJuly a global campaign to raise awareness of our growing plastic waste problem. The campaign challenges you to join millions of people reducing their plastic waste and refusing to use single-use plastics. Plastic Free July has ideas and resource to help people get involved, at home, work, school, and in the community. The philosophy being if we all make a small change it can make a massive difference to the amount of plastic pollution generated every year.

Here at Precision we are supporting our clients to use less plastic by mailing their brochures and catalogues in a compostable potato starch based mailing film. This material will break down naturally and will fully biodegrade in compost or soil. Biodegradation takes place as soon as micro-organisms are present and it is fully compostable in just 10 days. In the test we conducted to satisfy our own curiosity it was pretty much gone in just 7 days of composting.

We can all play our part by re-using supposedly single use plastics in the home or if they are no longer serviceable ensure that they get placed in home recycling bins. For carrier bags and other plastic packaging the Recycle Now website is a great reference point with information on your nearest recycling points.

Ying Li
Ying LiManaging Director

Get in touch with Ying:

Ying Li
Ying LiManaging Director

Get in touch with Ying:

Our latest insights.

Sign up to our newsletter.

To get our latest insights, essential news and helpful guides straight to your inbox.

Memberships and Accreditations

The Drum