We have a booming $500 billion per year industry just in global personal care consumers with $90 billion being in the US alone! Simultaneously, the industry’s plastic footprint has ballooned. The amount of plastic packaging on U.S. products (not just on personal care items) has increased by over 120 times since 1960 – The new study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, is the first global analysis of all plastics ever made – and their fate. Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority – 79 percent is accumulating in landfills or draining off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink. If present trends continue, by 2050, there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills. That amount is 35,000 times as heavy as the Empire State Building.
“There’s a heightened awareness from brands that if they don’t come together to fix this, the social license to use plastic packaging – could go away. And that would have huge impacts,” says Adam Gendell, the associate director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. Plastic is so firmly embedded in the modern supply chain that limiting its ubiquity will inevitably be a painful process.
How did we end up with so much plastic?
Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible, moisture resistant, strong, and relatively inexpensive. Those are the attractive qualities that lead us, around the world, to such a voracious appetite and over-consumption of plastic goods. However, durable and very slow to degrade, plastic materials that are used in the production of so many products all, ultimately, become waste with staying power. Our tremendous attraction to plastic and that of over-consumption, discarding, littering and thus polluting, has become a combination of lethal nature.
How do we change our footprint, now?!
Some of today’s leading manufacturers are making the commitment to improve their overall environmental performance in their packaging. Ways of doing so include, but are not limited to;
- Use maximum possible recycled content
- Avoid using polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), polystyrene (PS) or expanded polystyrene (EPS)
- Minimizing Single-Use Plastics
An incredibly informative article published by greenpeace.org – Packaging Away The Planet. I had come across while researching the Circular Economy, which opened up avenues for even more global movements toward lessening our footprint; Every Bottle Back initiative, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Recycling Partnership, and Closed Loop Partners.
Three ways that retailers must act;
Be Transparent – Prioritize Reduction – Invest in Innovation
How can Apex Filling Systems help you in lessening your carbon footprint while still achieving your manufacturing dream? Simple. We specialize in efficiency. Our solutions are designed to minimize your waste in production both in manufacturing your product, as well as the space utilized to operate your company. Simply by size, by design and the capabilities that our machines have in moving your bottling/packaging choices. We are experts in designing solutions that compliment your existing packaging lines and have capabilities of filling a variety of packaging material, i.e.; glass, aluminum, liquid packaging board, recycled plastics, thin-walled plastics, pouches, etc. Our filling solutions are designed to accommodate inconsistencies that can be within glass bottles, allowing accuracy in your fills, minimizing a potentially large amount of plastic bottling. Our comprehensive line of turnkey products is designed to integrate perfectly into one-another. If you can minimize the need to use 3rd party resources in order to reach your end-user, you have saved drastic amounts of unnecessary packaging. Imagine being able to have your line be an all-in-one machine… the possibilities are limitless. Our Tabletop Piston Filler is readily available to fill your flexible pouch packaging with accuracy and speed. If you or the company you are with is looking into really making a change in the way you are filling your production needs, Apex can get you well on your way to leaving a better earth for our future. Contact us today!
Negative List of Plastics found on Nestle’