ECO-News Byte, Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

Written by Sarah Riley

On March 28, 2018

Taking on Plastic Pollution

Why one big threat facing the world’s oceans could be an opportunity for your business

You might have noticed a couple of words popping up with new frequency in your newsfeed lately. They were a whisper at first (like a discarded shopping bag on the breeze?), but now they may be a clarion call for all businesses no matter their industry or size:

‘Plastic ban’

The anti-plastics movement is experiencing its flash point with McDonald’s new promise to phase out plastic straws, New York mulling an embargo on plastic bags statewide and Taiwan outright banning all plastic bags, straws and utensils with one of the most sweeping bans on plastics in the world – all in this past month alone.

The plastic backlash was inevitable. Health officials, institutions, consumers and businesses have woken up to the far-reaching scale of environmental harm caused by plastic waste. Not least of all, the devastating impact of plastic pollution in the ocean and its ability to get into the food chain and harm human health.

Even the Earth Day Network has plastic in its sights, announcing on their website that this year’s Earth Day (April 22, 2018) “will focus on mobilizing the world to End Plastic Pollution.”

But where there is disruption, there is opportunity.

Traditional plastics makers may be left behind. But, as consumers start to demand alternatives, next-gen manufacturers are positioned to gain ground with compostable, paper-based or even edible options to fill the plastics void.

So what does this mean for your business?

We’ve said it before – consumers align themselves to brands that represent their own personal beliefs and values. They’re aware of the harm caused by plastic, and they’ll ascribe higher value to brands who are transparent and environmentally conscious, as evidenced by a 2015 report by Nielson.

If you’re a B2C company or even a B2B company, you might want to re-evaluate the points at which plastics enter your customer journey and seek out a viable non-plastic alternative.

Even your corporate culture and marketing efforts can be vetted for plastic (replacing the branded plastic pens with the company logo on them could be an opportunity to find some eco-friendly options!).

Making the switch can affect your bottom line, but remember, your customer is willing to pay more for environmentally conscious options and sustainably-sourced materials and ingredients. Don’t be afraid to celebrate your efforts. Your customers will likely thank you for it through positive word of mouth.

Want more ideas on how your business can be poised to benefit from a plastics ban? Email us at [email protected]

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