I found this great definition the other day and thought I’d reblog it.
I think pressure on the largest packaging producers, like supermarkets and food suppliers, is building up – indeed, why should we (through tax) and councils (in the UK) bear the cost of recycling of the packaging that supermarkets and their suppliers produce? Why can’t the supermarkets and their suppliers commit to producing more and gradually all of their packaging in a sustainable form? It does not need to be more expensive. It just requires commitment, innovation and investment on their behalf.
I remember talking to Sainsbury’s customer service about their excessive use of unsustainable packaging. I got a lengthy email reply which outlined their global (!) sustainability goals and how they plan to reduce waste by 10% by 2050 or something. Essentially lots of bla’s.
I remember corresponding with the Tetrapak customer service – why is it so hard to find a place in the UK to recycle Tetrapak packaging which is used for drinks, milk, soups, etc? The response I got was that it’s now ‘easier than ever’ and a map pointing me to a recycling point 15 miles away. I started choosing alternatives in the shop, with more sustainable packaging.
I do sometimes pay more, if there is less packaging or it’s more sustainable, eg biodegradable. I try different strategies of reducing and reusing the packaging. But individual efforts are not enough. Manufacturers and retailers should commit too.
And sustainable packaging is good for business as well as planet. Where will the competitive advantage of tomorrow come from? If Marks & Spencer launched products packed into sustainable packaging, would not their share of grocery spend grow at expense of other supermarkets? At the same time, if the likes of Tetrapak continue being unsustainable packaging manufacturers or the likes of Coca Cola continue not owning the responsibility for the packaging they use, would they have anyone to blame if tomorrow a more sustainable alternative emerges and becomes an overnight success?
I can not wait.