Something that few could imagine just months ago has finally occurred: some of the world’s largest plastic consumers have announced that they will be drastically cutting their plastic pollution with targets set for 2025.
More than forty companies have signed up to the agreement, with big names such as Coca-Cola, Marks and Spencer, and Asda amongst the signatories, and the UK government has started calling this agreement the UK Plastics Pact, in the hope that other companies – both large and small – will also sign up to the targets.
Forty companies may not sound like a lot, but in fact more than 80% of the plastic in UK supermarkets can be traced back to the production of these companies, and so a reduction here would mean incredible things for the plastic industry. So what do we at OmniDynamics think is going to happen next?
Less plastic will be produced
Just like any other commodity, the production of plastic must follow the rise and fall of supply and demand. With some of these huge conglomerates declaring that they are going to be significantly cutting down the amount of plastic that they will be using, that in turn means that they are going to need to order much less – impacting the industry creating plastic in the future.
These companies will need to diversify to ensure that they do not disappear from the commercial landscape or approach the plastics problem completely differently. For example…
Research could be better funded
One part of the agreement that the forty companies have signed is that they will look for better ways to use plastic with better research and development, moving away from a single-use packaging solution, which almost all our food and products that we purchase are currently covered with. This research will need to be bankrolled, and presumably these companies will be footing part of that bill.
This is exciting for researchers and companies alike, as this could solve the problem of what plastic production companies are going to manufacture in the future and give a nice boost to the research economy. But that still leaves one question…
What to do with all the plastic that has already been created?
As many people now know, plastic is not only harmful to the environment and the creatures that live within it, but it also takes an extraordinary amount of time to degrade and return to its composite elements. This means that even with slowing production and better design, there is a hefty amount of plastic remaining in our ecosystems that we need to do something about.
That’s where we come in. Our Strooder enables plastic pellets to be transformed into filament ready for 3D printing, a truly exciting recycling opportunity for plastic that is not coming to the end of its life but needs to be repurposed.
The world will be watching the UK to see exactly whether these targets are met, and how companies intend to do this. In the meantime, make sure that you grab one of our Strooders to start making your own difference to the challenge of plastic.