A Plastic Planet is a London-based grassroots organization with a single aim: to inspire a paradigm shift away from throwaway plastic packaging to more ecologically sound alternatives. They seek to make all shopping aisles plastic free. Sian Sutherland—co-founder of the anti-plastic campaign group— shared with Die Line that rethinking packaging design is central in creating a future sans plastic.
Recycling is frequently touted as the answer to the plastic pollution crisis. And while impressive strides have been made in this area, it is a band-aid solution.
“Certainly, it’s preferable for a plastic bottle to end up in a recycling plant rather than the ocean,” wrote Sutherland, “But every piece of plastic—unless it has been burned—still exists. A durable, long-term solution to the plastic crisis is unlikely to be found in recycling alone.” Her colleague, Paul Foulkes-Arellano—Head of Retail Solutions at A Plastic Planet—echoes this sentiment. “Despite a concerted effort to increase recycling, we still only recycle 14% of our plastic packaging,” he told the Die Line. Recycling is great, but plastic continues to permeate landfills and suffocate the world’s oceans.
So how can we achieve the ambitious goal of plastic free?
According to Arellano and Sutherland, the answer is clear: we must use less plastic by creating more sustainable food and beverage packaging options. A Plastic Planet wants to work with brand designers, brand owners, and retailers to encourage plastic-free packaging designs in the global retail market space. Working with inventive packaging designers to pioneer and promote new eco-friendly solutions is how single-use plastics will be laid to rest (and not in the Earth’s landfills or oceans).
“We all have a plastic footprint; it is our unavoidable legacy,” wrote Sutherland, “But we can all be part of the change that is about to happen.” With innovative collaboration, humans can begin to construct the eco-friendly, healthy, and plastic-free Earth future generations should inherit.
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