A post-plastic future holds key to ‘unprecedented growth’, says report

Recycling plastic is not the solution to ease the environmental burden, according to a new white paper, which says a post-plastic future is the key to growth.

The paper, called the Post-Plastic Economy, urges firms to shift away from plastic to maintain a competitive edge and continue to drive profits. It says that a post-plastic future is key to unprecedented growth, resilience and revenue.

The white paper, reported by Circular Online, says that over the next ten years, the world’s relationship with plastic will be “unrecognisable”.

It says in 2024 there is increasingly stark evidence connecting plastic to a ”catastrophic human health crisis”, and “intensifying environmental turmoil”, adding that recycling plastic “isn’t the answer”.

The paper says: “We can’t go on like this. And despite what we’re told, recycling isn’t the answer.

“We’ve been trying to reuse plastic for 50 years, but only 9% of it has ever been given a second life. Instead, we must go back to the drawing board and use our collective creative power to finally innovate beyond the plastic perimeter.”


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PlasticFree, A Plastic Planet and creative futures agency Fashion Snoops are behind the white paper.

The authors recommend design strategies for brands to adopt, using natural alternatives and incorporating reuse and right-to-repair models.

Furthermore, the post-plastic report advocates businesses investing in a full traceability system to understand a materials’ environmental impact, track global plastics legislation, and ensure all claims are backed with third-party verified data to future-proof their organisations.

Sian Sutherland,co-founder, of PlasticFree and A Plastic Planet, commented: “Plastic has become a toxic default for a model of business predicated on ecological degradation and an inherent disregard for its impact on not only the planet’s health but our own. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

“The past decade has seen an upward trend in consumer demand for change, legislators are increasingly drafting policy to tackle the crisis and yet many businesses are still wedded to a take, make, waste attitude.

“Ultimately, change is coming, and I now ask brands this simple question – ‘do you wish to be the last to move? Businesses globally face a choice; whether to be a leader, grabbing the opportunities in the post-plastic revolution or to be a future dinosaur.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed 90% of FMCG packaging experts believed the shift from plastic was happening too slow.
Climate crisisMaterials and packagingSupply Chain

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