Last month Target announced it would phase out the use of polystyrene foam packing in its e-commerce operations. This frequently used packing product, which has limited recycling options, is playing a huge role in pollution both on land and in watersheds around the world.
More than 150 million tons of plastic are already in the ocean and 8 million tons are being added each year.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation published a study last year, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics, that states oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050 if action isn’t taken quickly to dramatically reduce the flow of plastics into our oceans, lakes, and rivers.
Target isn’t the only company making a move to reduce or eliminate the use of polystyrene foam and embrace more environmentally friendly packaging. In recent years companies like Dell, Ikea, Amazon, REI, Stonyfield Farm, Tom’s of Maine, Colgate-Palmolive, Puma and McDonald’s have shifted gears to use materials that aren’t so harmful to the environment.
If you are attempting to reduce waste and pollution, check out Cut the Wrap! for various ways you can minimize—or even eliminate—packaging waste. These guidelines can help you make smarter and more sustainable packaging choices as well as provides strategies for mitigation and reduction. The paper also includes success stories from businesses of varying sizes around the world. They made the change — you can too!
At SSC we have been examining the issue of packaging for years and put together a list of our favorite resources for sustainable packaging options. We know that change can be hard and that institutional barriers may stand in the way of your company shifting gears toward greener materials when it comes to packaging products. If you are ready for one of our one-day workshops to help explain how sustainability strategy – from packaging to product sourcing to waste to energy use – can be integrated into the overall corporate direction, reach out today!