Tomorrow is Earth Day. For those of us who work around plastics, we're inundated with news about the material: The good it plays in improving lives and the bad we have yet to effectively deal with, like recycling and pollution.
If you're like me, you may be approaching Earth Day feeling a little overwhelmed by plastic waste, by our more existential threats like climate change, by that in-home composting project that fell by the wayside in the pandemic and, oh yeah, by COVID-19 itself.
So, as a result, I'm going to evoke newsletter writer's privilege — or to borrow an industry term we all know, I'm declaring force majeure to put one of my ideas in front of everyone — and suggest we break Earth Day 2021 into a bite-sized nugget.
Tomorrow, let's focus on reusable packaging as one step to take.
The NGO Upstream does a lot of work around reusable packaging models in stores and in cities, and they include examples of how stores have moved toward reusables. They discuss the problems of single-use packaging of any material and suggest changes we can all make in our lives.
More on the big picture, reusables are a key part of the work coming from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the U.S. Plastics Pact. And finally, if you're looking for a deep dive life cycle assessment of single-use products, take a look at this U.N. study.
OK, maybe you're not looking for that deep dive into an LCA. Can't blame you! That was the Plastics News reporter in me coming out.
But thanks for considering reusables on your Earth Day!