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Alternatives to plastic

Plastic pollution is rising to the top of the global agenda, but what’s the alternative? Alison Coleman explores how companies are adapting to survive.

Plastic has permeated virtually every aspect of modern life. Everything from clothing to the bags you use to carry shopping home incorporates this strong, lightweight and mouldable material. However, when David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II documentary series brought the shocking impact of plastic waste to light – exposing the floating mass of abandoned bottles, packaging, flotsam and jetsam in the Pacific Ocean, and the ingestion of plastic fragments by ocean wildlife – it sparked a huge public response.

This, coupled with mainstream media attention and legislative actions by governments, is already influencing consumer behaviours. According to Paymentsense, 54% of small retailers have seen sales of plastic packaged goods fall over the past six months. From the medical profession to fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), there isn’t a business that isn’t touched by the heightened focus on plastic, its sustainability or its end-of-life waste management options.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 272, March 2019.

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