Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 9

opinion
- at least on the sustainability
front. The real challenge, therefore,
is designing for a sustainable
future with plastic. Our collective
approach to plastic, from
its creation and use in both
product and packaging design,
right through to end of life, must
be completely reimagined for
a circular economy to be viable.
This means rethinking the
components of plastic, how it
is made, its application, its interactivity,
its reusability and its
eventual disposal.
Change is on the horizon
Global pressures from legislation
are increasingly working
to control the production and
use of single-use plastics in
everything from blister packs,
Where there is so much plastic
present in our world, there is
huge potential for recycling,
if we're able to address the
systems and infrastructure to
meaningfully facilitate a shift.
from which we dispense our
medicine, to the condiment sachets
that accompany our fast
food. With the policy landscape
ever-evolving, businesses are
compelled to change via the
imposition of bans and stricter
controls that treat plastic as if
it were a regulated substance.
We're not just seeing this in obvious
sectors such as the food
and drink industry but also in
cosmetics, beauty and health
where microplastics - now
due to be banned in the EU in
phases over the coming years -
were once heavily used in facial
creams and toothpaste. Then
there are other EU initiatives,
such as increasing the percentage
of recycled content used in
packaging and imposing a tax
on plastic packaging components
containing less than 30%
Ross Lakhdari
recycled content.
Whilst there are inherent disparities
across global territories
regarding how plastic waste is
collected, sorted and reprocessed,
these regulatory drivers
are radically shaping how businesses
are producing and putting
out packaging and products
onto the market. Where
there is so much plastic present
in our world, there is huge potential
for recycling, if we're able
to address the systems and infrastructure
to meaningfully
facilitate a shift. This becomes
all the more apparent when we
understand how fossil fuels remain
intrinsic to the virgin plastic-making
process; 4% of the
world's fossil fuel resources are
used in plastic production, and
this figure is set to grow unless
we innovate ourselves out of
the problem.
There are practical barriers
to progression that designers,
engineers, scientists, policymakers,
et al., must navigate,
but there are behavioural issues
too. Current efforts to
nudge and guide consumers
to sustainably dispose of the
waste they generate don't universally
resonate.
Whilst consumers largely
agree that they have a part to
play in making sustainability
work, pontification, fear-mongering
and lecturing can divide
and deter. Meanwhile, consumer-facing
education programmes
on recycling remain
confusing and rely heavily on
the consumer to proactively dismantle
product and packaging
to its elements and dispose of
it in such a way that it complies
with nuanced recycling streams.
Complex and abstract sustainability
concepts must be
humanised to galvanise action.
Through effective product and
packaging design, we can encourage
positive behavioural
rituals that reinforce impactful
change and ensure people
invest in the bigger picture of
our future. Economic instability
and busy lifestyles will almost
certainly see people select
convenient options over more
sustainable choices. Therefore,
the question isn't really about
the quantity of consumers who
care enough about sustainability
to change their behaviour,
continued on page 10
January/February 2024
9

Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024

Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover1
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover2
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Contents
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 4
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 5
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 6
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 7
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 8
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 9
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 10
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 11
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 12
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 13
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 14
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 15
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 16
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 17
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 18
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 19
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 20
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 21
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 22
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 23
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 24
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 25
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 26
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 27
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 28
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 29
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 30
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 31
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 32
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 33
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - 34
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover3
Sustainable Plastics - January/February 2024 - Cover4
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