People are becoming more and more exposed to our plastic-riddled ocean, and we’re starting to realise that our purchasing decisions play a big part in the well-being of the planet, particularly though pollution, and the impacts on our health. In a 2014 study, and countless similar studies done since, the most common consumer items recorded to be floating in our oceans are plastic bottles, plastic bags, cigarettes, food wrappers, plastic utensils, straws, beverage cans, paper bags and Styrofoam cups.
Big companies all over the world are publishing their goals to replace their single-use & plastic packaging and utensils for more sustainable alternatives. McDonalds has declared they’d stop using foam cups by 2019; Pick n Pay plans to reduce plastic waste in stores that is not recyclable by 2019 and have recently introduced South Africa’s first compostable shopping bags; Food Lover’s Market has ditched plastic straws; Woolworths promises to phase out non-recyclable packaging and many other brands have jumped on board with their own statement of causecamaraderie.
The good thing is that big brands like these are talking about the issues; but that doesn’t mean they’re doing anything big enough to reduce the amount of pollution entering the sea & landfills. ‘Recyclable’ doesn’t mean it will be recycled. It also doesn’t mean that it can break down in a turtle’s stomach…
It’s up to each of us to make better choices everyday. As consumers, yes!; but also as designers, producers and retailers. After all, there is no money to be made on a dead planet.
Here are some of our favourite sustainable retail designs and ideas:
- Beer packaging turns to fish food in water – Saltwater Brewery
- Completely biodegradable containers like Green Home
- Craft beer made from surplus unsold bread – Toast Ale
We seriously hope you’re inspired, because we seriously need to challenge the status quo.