29th Apr 2020
Many companies have launched initiatives to try and cut how much plastic they use, but the campaign group branded these ‘false solutions.’ They went onto say that it was ‘grotesque’ that using wood and paper wastes trees, while compostable materials often end up in general rubbish.
Fiona Nicholls, Greenpeace commented: “Companies swapping single-use plastic for other throwaway items need to think again. We can’t carry on using up land or chopping down forests to make cutlery, cups or packaging that gets used for a matter of moments and could pollute our planet for hundreds of years to come.”
The main culprits in the plastic-swap, which has been encouraged by customers becoming concerned about pollution in the oceans, are compostable plastics and paper, Greenpeace said.
An investigation carried out by Greenpeace earlier this year found that compostable plastics often end up in general rubbish in landfill or an incinerator not in a composting facility.
Adding a compostable or biodegradable additive to a plastic product stops this products potential for recycling. Plastic is a valuable resource which is recyclable. Industrial polythene waste can be recycled in closed-loop recycling scheme and Duo is working with companies to adopt this process in their businesses. Anthony Brimelow, Duo commercial director said, “We are informing our customers on how to correctly segregate waste polythene on site, we then collect it when we deliver new packaging products and recycle it in our closed loop recycling system. The recycled pellets are then used to manufacture new packaging reducing demand for new virgin materials and avoiding plastic waste going to landfill.”
Advancements in material properties has enabled packaging products to be produced using less material reducing volume of plastic used and therefore lowering carbon footprint without effecting the performance of the packaging product – a critical point.
Anthony continued, “As well as material choice, packaging design can play a big role in aiding multiple use and reduce requirement for additional packaging items. We made a pioneering improvement to the design of a mailing bag which enables the bag to protect the item in the postal system and be re-used to make a return. This has been achieved by the addition of a second glue strip the best part is that this simple change eradicates the need for additional packaging items.
As a polythene packaging manufacturer we are in agreement that the use of and single use items should absolutely be addressed. However, treating it in isolation and eradicating plastic as a knee-jerk reaction without looking at the bigger picture could in fact lead to negative and unintended consequences across the supply chain as Greenpeace have highlighted.”
Find out more information about closed loop recycling here