After hearing the people of Maharashtra say “Plastic factories ko bandh karo”, brands suggested a collaboration with waste pickers, conducting workshops and hiring mule drivers to collect the waste that harms the environment. But when in the long run, plastic will harm the environment in one way or another, why pass the buck? Why not create something new and start taking responsibility? The time has finally come to stop playing the blame game.
As brand creators, we have certain regulations we must abide by, not just towards our clients, but also towards our conscience and moreover to the Earth, which in today’s world, is being decorated with an alarming amount of landfills.
Brands have to start taking charge and make a point to finish what they start, by completing the chain of manufacturing, consumption and recycling. The country's biggest FMCG companies, HUL and ITC, have started taking responsibility and aiming towards a better and greener world. They have committed to using reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.
Brands have the ability and capability to make a difference just by making a few changes. Tetra Pak has started an initiative of collecting empty Tetra Paks and turning them into school furniture for the underprivileged. That's an example to go by.
Last year in association with Parley, Adidas created 1 million shoes from plastic found in the ocean. They turned the problem into a solution by simply preventing the plastic from entering our oceans and transforming it into a high-performance sportswear. Each pair of shoes reuses 11 plastic bottles. Sea to shoe spread like a wave. Adidas also initiated a campaign in 2018 called ‘Run For the Oceans’, with Parley where the more kilometers people ran, the more money would be contributed towards Parley Ocean Plastic Program to fight the threat of the marine plastic pollution.
PepsiCo. also joined the bandwagon recently. They announced their 'All In On Recycling', with The Recycling Partnership, a non-profit organization. This is an industry-wide residential recycling challenge to make recycling easier for 25 million families across the US, providing them with the resources they need to recycle more and recycle better. The collaboration with The Recycling Partnership represents a major step towards fulfilling those responsibilities by helping reverse the decline in recycling rates for aluminum and many common plastics.
On all levels, the consumer and brands that have the resources to make a difference by collecting and recycling their own waste, can take up responsibilities so that the world can try and move closer to a cleaner, greener and healthy environment.
There maybe thousands of that one small packaging unit that is being manufactured and going on to pollute the world if we do not dispose/ reuse / recycle responsibly. Let’s step up so that more brands can see the change, acknowledge it and not pollute the world if we dispose, reuse and recycle responsibly.
References: Adidas sold 1 million shoes made out of ocean plastic, CNBC; 2018, Recycling Partnership, PepsiCo Launch Challenge to Boost Residental Recycling, Waste360; 2018, Naked- Our Values, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics- The Website