The industry’s engagement is clear to see; apart from the goals that they have set themselves, their public campaigns show that plastic packaging in itself cannot be held responsible for polluting nature. Many industry representative support projects against littering. One example of this is constituted by clean-up events, which are held to clean bodies of water, such as those held by the non-governmental organisation Clean River Project e.V.
REASONS FOR POLLUTION OF THE OCEANS
Various studies have shown that the causes behind plastic pollution of the ocean are complex and require a variety of solutions. On the one hand, over half of the plastic waste in the oceans is thought to come from the five Asian countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. On the other, the 2015 Global Waste Management Outlook assessment from UN Environment and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) stated that 3 billion people worldwide have no access to controlled waste disposal facilities. Simultaneously, experts state that they believe that the level of plastic pollution in the ocean has increased due to old fishing nets or abrasion from car tyres.
THE BENEFITS OF PLASTIC PACKAGING
The benefits of plastic packaging are manifold. Plastic packaging protects food from going off, thus preventing food waste and maintaining comestibles that are vital for feeding the people of the world. They can limit the spread of disease and thus save lives. This makes plastic packaging indispensable for many food-based applications. However, other industries also require primary and secondary packaging made of plastic in order to protect their products, e.g. to stop them from becoming damaged. Plastics are lightweight, which has a positive effect on the life cycle assessment for a product. In addition, plastics can be manufactured relatively cheaply and are extremely resistant. Over the past decades, this has led to huge growth in the packaging industry’s use of plastics.