Joel Makower recently noted that a War On Plastic seemed to be breaking through the American consciousness and behavior change was imminent.
"Consumer brands have scrambled to end plastic waste.”
By eliminating the weight of plastic resins for single-use packaging, or making their packaging recyclable or compostable, a lack of global infrastructure to recycle or compost notwithstanding, Foodservice operators have also pulled back on straws, cup lids, and plastic cutlery.
More operators were using china or compostable plasticware. Then, COVID happened. Initially, the focus was on not transmitting the deadly disease by obsessively cleaning every surface, then by using paper masks or whatever kinds of PPE we could get our hands on at the beginning of the pandemic. The number of disposable wipes produced from March 2020-March 2022 is uncountable.
In the return to the workplace, the following questions begged to be asked;
What kinds of disposables, if any, should we use?
Are plastics really important, or were they a victim of viral videos about the Great Garbage Patch or sea turtles dying of ingesting plastic?
Like most topics in sustainability, the answer is more interesting and multifaceted than any set of campaign posters would have you believe.
Where to begin? We're happy to support you with Sustainability Simplified©.
Helene York is an environmental and sustainability supply chain expert, adding her talents in strategic sourcing on a global level to 4xi's capabilities under our banner of Sustainability Simplified©.
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