Guest blog by our partner rePurpose Global, join our webinar to hear more:
The Core of Our Plastic Problem
The world has seen a steep rise in the inefficient management of plastic waste over the past few decades. This core problem is contributing to our growing plastic epidemic. We are disposing more plastic than ever before – but where is this waste really going? Recent reports have revealed that several developed European countries have been shipping their waste to third world countries with ill-equipped waste management systems. The plastic burden on our planet is outgrowing its solutions at an exponential rate. Efficient waste management systems and other innovative solutions lack the funding and infrastructure to take on a global epidemic of this stature. Investor interest in recycling startups over other ventures is lacking. For instance, recycling startups received 6.4 billion dollars in investment over the course of 24 years, while WeWork alone received 12.8 billion dollars over just eight years.
Tackling the Giant
Plastic Neutrality can solve the problem of our growing plastic waste by strengthening our waste management systems. It’s a way for brands to take out the same amount of plastic that they put into the world. On behalf of your brand, rePurpose measures the amount of plastic you generate and funds the removal of the same amount from oceans and landfills by their trusted waste management partners. The waste management partners, ranging from Kenya to Colombia to India, collect and reuse the low value plastics that would be neglected in landfills for over a thousand years. Waste workers who carry out the processes in these partner facilities also benefit from PlasticNeutral projects. Additional income, mobile health clinics, effective sanitary solutions are some of the provisions that help improve their overall quality of life.
What’s in it for the Business?
This PlasticNeutral certification is a way for businesses to connect with and deliver their commitment to ethical and environmental values. In today’s increasingly aware, consumer-driven markets, there is a growing demand for businesses to go plastic-free or provide alternatives to it. But if we were to take a step back and analyze our alternatives, we would quickly come to the conclusion that all the potential substitutes have similar or even higher environmental footprints. Cardboard, glass, and cotton are considered the closest alternatives but have proven to have higher carbon footprints than plastic.
Businesses depend on plastics because of their versatile nature and despite the harm they have inflicted on our environment, sustainable alternatives are difficult to find. The best way for brands to tackle the issue is to take responsibility for the plastic waste generated by measuring and compensating the same amount. Farrington Oils, U.K.’s leading seed-to-bottle producer took their dressings and oils PlasticNeutral for the same reason. The brand has a long history with sustainability which translated into their partnership with rePurpose. Farrington Oils has enabled the collection and reuse of 8,000 kgs of plastic waste that would have otherwise piled up in landfills in India. rePurpose’s trusted waste management partner, Waste Ventures India, executed this project on the ground in their state-of-the-art facilities in Hyderabad, India.
Farrington Oils is tackling the global plastic epidemic today while simultaneously strengthening the infrastructure that will solve it tomorrow by going Plastic Neutral. Among several other publications, The Telegraph has credited the brand for this innovative stride to move further along in its sustainability journey. This impact creation has helped Farrington Oils build a better experience for its UK-based consumers.
Consumers are Your Primary Stakeholders
The environmental values of a company are especially important to European consumers. They believe in proactive effort and hold their consumer choices to a high moral standard. Four in ten European consumers are less trusting of brands because they do not believe that brands have the best interests of the environment at heart. They are actively looking for brands to communicate their support and commitment to their ethical values. Especially in the case of food and beverage products, over 50% of consumers are actively looking for environmentally-friendly claims. 55% of European consumers would even be willing to pay a premium price for more environmentally friendly products (source: https://industryeurope.com/sustainability-in-europe/).
Brand action is crucial in this age of exponential environmental degradation. So much so that global consumers are actively seeking sustainable brands that take action to recognize and combat the magnitude of our climate emergency. To pursue sustainable causes today would be beneficial to the business, the planet, and its people.