Governments 'lack vision' over sustainability

Hamish Champ
PRW

Published: November 14, 2013 11:52 am ET
Updated: November 14, 2013 11:54 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, K 2013, Business News & Features

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY — An environmental expert has accused world governments of a "complete lack of vision" when it came to addressing and advancing the cause of sustainability.

Speaking at the K show in Düsseldorf John Elkington, an expert on corporate responsibility and sustainability, referred to calls for industry to reduce to a net zero position its emissions by the second half of the 20th century.

"Politicians don't understand the nature or scale of the challenge and even if they do they aren't acting decisively enough," he told an audience in a lecture hosted by trade body PlasticsEurope.

There was a lack of political will regarding sustainability, one which was exacerbated by companies lobbying governments and slowing down the pace of change, Elkington argued.

Governments could be persuaded to act by the force of their electorate "when things go really wrong", such as the clamor surrounding the problems with the ozone layer in the atmosphere, he said.

However politicians "completely lacked vision" over sustainability. Instead they were "leaning over backwards" to protect the interests of big business.

Elkington said that while there would be many opportunities to advance the cause of sustainability there had been and would continue to be failures. "The challenge will be how to respond to the setbacks," he added.

He commended PlasticsEurope's commitment to reducing plastic waste in the environment and acknowledged that some companies had the vision necessary to both get the message across and put the theory into practice.

On the subject of litter Elkington said certain parts of the world were "fairly intelligent" when it came to dealing with the subject but others, notably India, Africa and "parts of the UK" were faced with a bigger problem.

"If people's mindset is that they can get away with littering it creates a disconnect when it comes to thinking about things like climate change. They don't think it's important either, but the two are strongly linked."

When it came to marine litter Elkington said that rather than come up with schemes to retrieve and re-use waste found in the world's oceans we would be better off preventing more of the stuff finding its way into the sea.

"There's a bit of an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality with some people. We should look at things like whether it is a good idea to put landfill sites near the sea," he added.


Comments

Governments 'lack vision' over sustainability

Hamish Champ
PRW

Published: November 14, 2013 11:52 am ET
Updated: November 14, 2013 11:54 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

Plastics help Volt hit new target

January 28, 2015 1:54 pm ET

The 2016 Volt, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, features a sportier exterior design — GM calls it...    More

Image

FPI joins curbside recycling group

January 28, 2015 11:47 am ET

Foodservice Packaging Institute is joining the board of the Curbside Value Partnership, a non-profit group that works to improve curbside recycling...    More

Image

Agricultural container recycling grows

January 28, 2015 11:42 am ET

Plastic pestitcide container recycling shot up by nearly 40 percent last year, according to new statistics from the Virginia Department of...    More

Image

PC used in academy roof retrofit

January 28, 2015 8:55 am ET

Polycarbonate sheet meets the demands of a “living roof” in a retrofit at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events