What is world oceans day all about? First proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Oceans Day was embarked upon with a mission to celebrate the beautiful blue and raise awareness about what we can all do to improve the future of our oceans.
Sometimes it seems as though you can’t switch on the TV or listen to the radio without being told just how bad single-use plastic is for our environment and the ocean. We can feel bombarded by all the negative news. Barely a day goes by when we don’t feel guilty about how we are contributing to the destruction of the Earth and condemning future generations to havoc and pollution.
Information regarding how plastic actually ends up in the ocean can be very overwhelming. The main issue is that 30-40% of the UK’s plastic waste was exported in 2018; the main destinations being Indonesia, Malaysia & Vietnam which have waste mismanagement rates of upto 86% - often emptying into illegal dump sites and rivers. This is why we see BBC documentaries evidencing UK retailers plastic shopping bags floating in the rivers and Oceans of Asia. Link to 3min highlights of Liz Bonin speech at Environmental Summit July2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zyNNCrvZHo
Only 12% of plastic is recycled, a lot of it ends up in the sea
The scary reality is that only 12 % of UK plastics were recycled in 2018 yet global production of virgin is due to double from 400 million tonnes 2020 to 800 million tonnes by 2040.
Of course, there has even been a movement to reduce the amount of micro-plastics found in shampoos, cosmetics and the like as once filtered down the drain, and consequently, the ocean, inevitably end up being eaten by marine life and even become part of the food chain!
Consumer trend is changing, thanks to David Attenborough & Liz Bonnin reporting on plastic pollution affecting our oceans
In the midst of this backlash against plastics, there’s surprisingly much to be positive and optimistic about. So many of us are now striving for and effecting change; there are the environmentalists and activists at the very centre of single-use plastic reform like David Attenborough, Liz Bonnin and Greta Thunberg; then there are countless others, not necessarily in the public eye, but still sensibly championing alternative ways of being a consumer, ways that are realistic, attainable and most of all, kinder to the environment.
Single use Plastics are Choking our Seas
That said, if single-use plastic keeps being dumped into the sea unabated, oceanographers estimate that, by 2050, there will be more plastic bits in the sea than there are fish. And it isn’t just the sheer amount that’s worrying, it’s also the impact that it has on wildlife such as marine birds and animals, many of whom become poisoned by or tangled up in it.
We can all give the oceans a helping hand. As a packaging company that makes products with a short lifespan, we realised just how important it was that we do our bit to protect our environment. At Lil, we made a promise to remove all plastic packaging from our stock product line up. This involved removing all mailbags, bubble mailers, plastic eCommerce tape and reformulating inks and glues to be more eco-friendly and sustainable moving forwards. We wanted our brand Lil Packaging to become synonymous with plastic free packaging.
Certified Plastic Free is Good for the Sea
As most of you may already know, all of our cardboard was either FSC® and 100% recyclable, but we were focused on making that extra commitment. We developed an exciting new range of eco-friendly, Plastic Free Packaging that made clever use of biodegradable and recyclable materials as well as vegetable based, up-cycled and recycled inks. We even found a replacement for our hallmark red rippa-strip in the form of a herringbone perforation. Consequently, in February 2020, we were awarded Plastic Free accreditation by A Plastic Planet. A very proud moment in Lil Packaging history!
It's our hope that our commitment to eradicating plastics from eCommerce packaging will be the catalyst for a much bigger industry-wide change.
Are you interested in reducing your own dependency on plastic? Want to make the move to sustainable packaging and boost your brands eco-credentials? Contact us today to learn how we can help you mail happy. On the 8th June, World Oceans Day, you can help contribute to a brighter and more sustainable future.