Posted on: Jun 10, 2022

Packaging and sustainability: towards cleaner oceans

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It has been more than five years since the Ellen MacArthur Foundation stated that if we did not change as consumers, by 2050 there would be as much plastic in the ocean as fish. As shocking as it sounds, the climate crisis continues to be one of the biggest issues of our time. According to UN data, the oceans receive more than eight million tons of plastic every year. How can we possibly continue turning a blind eye?

According to WGSN, there is a group of consumers called the “Apathetic Activists“, who are characterised by their lack of coherence between what they say is important and how they behave. For them, price, variety and ease prevail over sustainability. In a study carried out last year by Zalando, 60% of the people surveyed stated that the sale of second-hand items was important to them. However, less than 25% said they make such purchases. Made up mainly of generation Z, this group carry the banner for the climate fight while also contributing to the transformation of SHEIN – a company characterised by its negative ecological impact and its questionable practices – into the most popular online retailer around.

Faced with this type of consumer, brands can facilitate sustainability by presenting it as something that directly rewards them. The Danish firm Ganni, through its “transparent account” Ganni LAB, exposes the failures they have had on their path to developing a more sustainable means of production. Additionally, FutureCard presents a bank card that returns up to 5% when making “green purchases”.

Cosmetics brands such as Bubble have created a program through which the consumer can send empty containers back to their offices, meaning consumers take part in facilitating its reuse and recycling. Other actions that are more focused on packaging can range from the use of mono-materials – packaging made with a single material, with a view to facilitating its recycling – to chemically recycled plastics. Since 2021, it has been possible to consume Magnums with a packaging that incorporates this type of plastic, thanks to the collaboration between Unilever and Plastic Energy.

 

As we all know, much remains to be done and when it comes to the climate crisis, “Greenwashing”, strategies are no longer enough. No matter how worrying the situation is, consumers have the last word on how to act and, given this, brands are the ones that need to choose to provide more sustainable options, by offering up effective and attractive solutions. Nowadays, it is necessary to overcome the barrage of messages that paralyse us with doom, and instead take action. Knowing our consumers and adapting to their needs – and intentions – is key to contributing to the fight for sustainability, even if this means we must stop expecting a medal for making essential changes. At Pointbleu, we believe that reaching a sustainable balance is possible. We support all brands that opt for responsible processes and materials that meet their consumer’s needs. When shall we start? 🙂

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