Doncaster business owner explores what needs to change in the packaging industry

Columnist Lydia Lakemore shares her thoughts on the packaging industry.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 10:16 am

I think a truly multifaceted approach is going to be necessary in order to tackle the problem of packaging and the waste that is produced as a result of that packaging. Unfortunately, plastic is not going to go away any time soon, it’s too reliable, too cost-effective and often more energy-efficient than some alternatives.

We, therefore, must look at ways of reusing and recycling this waste on a global scale. Discouraging companies against the use of single-use plastic is a likely and encouraging first step.

Companies simply must be forced to put in place systems where their customers can return packaging, be it plastic or otherwise.

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Lydia in her greenhouse with cardboard she is re-using.
Lydia in her greenhouse with cardboard she is re-using.

We have gone backwards in recycling since the days when Coca Cola enforced a bring back collection scheme on their empty glass bottles.

Now, the company is thought to be producing 110 billion single-use plastic bottles each year.

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Some companies are already going above and beyond and are putting the planet before profit.

But unfortunately, they are often the smaller companies and therefore the influence they have is less impactful.

At Jackson’s - The Herbalists we have a recycling system for our packaging and we are certainly not alone because many independent companies we work with like Viridian, FSC and our own Your Organic Soap Co. are committed to using minimal and reusable packaging.

Banning single-use plastic over a transitional period makes the most sense to me, thus putting the burden on the company as well as on the consumer who shouldn’t just be expected to make a conscious choice.

This is everyone’s planet and we all have a collective responsibility for it that I believe can be shared out with a practical approach.

We’re at a point in time where there is so much plastic now on the planet that unless we start looking at ways to truly recycle it, and I don’t just mean shipping it to another country for them to tackle, then we are never going to solve the problem we have caused.