; How can companies get involved in the fight against plastics? - Strive

In Today’s world, most business owners are already aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible and of reducing their impact on the planet. One aspect that is often overlooked is plastic waste. Although this scenario is slowly changing thanks to European policy making and climate action within the private sector, there are still many steps to be taken in order to meet the targets set.

Calculating the plastic footprint is the first step to reduce the use of plastic waste in companies, since one cannot improve what one cannot measure. There are currently standardized methodologies for calculating the plastic footprint. One of the most relevant and recognized today is the one developed by Verra, in collaboration with other leading organizations. This methodology provides a consistent approach to measure and report plastic use and waste, allowing meaningful comparisons to be made and progress to be tracked.

Once the plastic footprint has been measured, a reduction plan needs to be put in place. This strategy can cover several areas, from redesigning products to make them more efficient and thus use less plastic, to changing and redefining your business model by implementing circular economy elements, such as closed-loop systems, and even redesigning the materials and packaging used so that they require less raw materials and are easier to recycle and/or dispose of properly.

How can companies take action to mitigate the problem of plastic pollution?

In addition to calculating and reducing their footprint, companies can and should take steps to raise awareness of plastic pollution and encourage others to act. This can be done by actively engaging with stakeholders, including employees, customers and suppliers, to raise awareness and promote positive behaviour change. This may involve education and training programs, marketing campaigns or even partnering with like-minded organizations to advocate for an alternative plastic-free future.

One important way for companies to make a difference is to support the use or develop alternative materials. For example, instead of using single-use plastic bottles, companies can invest in reusable water bottles for their employees or encourage customers to bring their own reusable containers. In addition, companies can consider using more environmentally friendly packaging materials, such as biodegradable plastics or paper-based options.

Another way companies can make a positive impact is by supporting the development of new technologies that help reduce plastic waste. This may involve investing in research and development or collaborating with other organizations to find innovative solutions.

Some leading companies are investing in R&D to develop new materials from organic sources such as fungi-based materials used instead of single use plastic packaging, or plant-based materials simulating plastic or other materials such as leather, which not only are biodegradable materials and able to compost, but also reduce the overall carbon footprint of the material and end product, while maintaining the desired characteristics.

In general, companies are becoming increasingly aware of the increasing plastic pollution and the need to reduce waste. By taking steps to calculate and reduce their own plastic footprint and supporting the use of alternative materials and technologies, companies can play a vital role in solving this global problem by becoming agents of change causing an exponential positive effect on society.

How can Strive help?

Strive is an environmental consultancy that supports companies to reach their sustainability pledges on decarbonization and other impacts such as plastic. From calculating the carbon footprint so that companies can have a framework from which to act, to developing reduction strategies and the possibility of neutralizing their emissions and impacts.

If you would like to talk to our team, please feel free to fill out our form or contact us at hello@strive.earth to learn more about this topic.

Written by Rodrigo Rebollar