Why you should reduce your business carbon footprint now
An estimated 5% of plastic packaging is recycled globally, compared to 40% deposited in landfills. The environment is at breaking point. Find out how to reduce your business carbon footprint.
As the UK’s leading independent supplier of polythene, we’re concerned by how businesses worldwide are consuming plastics. Currently, the plastics industry uses as much oil as the aviation sector. One truck of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean every minute, accounting for around 150m tonnes. By 2050 our plastic use is set to quadruple, at which point the weight of plastics in the ocean is likely to outweigh that of fish.
Sustainability has always been at the core of Polythene UK. Research compiled for ‘The New Plastics Economy: rethinking the future of plastics’ estimated that only 5% of plastic packaging is recycled globally, compared to 40% that is deposited in landfills. This is not sustainable.
As producers of polythene packaging, we feel a responsibility for driving change. With the introduction of the industry’s first fully recyclable, carbon negative material, we are now taking steps to challenge the way in which businesses across the world approach their carbon footprints.
Sustainable sugarcane polymers
We recently met with petrochemical giant Braskem at the Brazilian embassy in London to discuss the potential promotion of sugarcane polymers as a “green” plastic solution.
Polyair™ is bio-based, manufactured from waste sugarcane extracts. As the largest petrochemical company in Latin America and a producer of these essential sugarcane polymers, Braskem is therefore an influential contact in both the production and promotion of bio-based ethylenes.
The roundtable is expected to include representatives from a variety of key organisations, including Polystar Plastics, Duo Plastics, Group Barbier, Braskem, Polydist, the Carbon Trust, DECC, the Co-Op, Marks & Spencer, and ourselves. Representatives from the Brazilian government will also be in attendance.
“The implications of Polyair really can’t be understated. The vast carbon savings that can be made through the use of sugarcane polymers as opposed to oil-based polymers would have a huge impact on the UK’s carbon emissions reduction targets, boosting the UK’s environmentally friendly image and improving its standing in the eyes of the world.”
James Woollard, Managing Director of Polythene UK
Reduce your business carbon footprint
Public opinion surrounding the sustainability of plastics is slowly changing. In the UK, 2015 saw the passing of new government legislation requiring any large retailers with 250 or more full-time employees to charge 5p per plastic carrier bag issued at the checkout. Within two months, supermarket giant Asda reported carrier bag usage down by over 90%. Tesco reported a similar reduction of 78%, demonstrating the huge impact that government backing can have on plastics consumption.
UK businesses are also warming to the need for sustainable plastics. As national awareness increases and companies become more conscious of their carbon footprints, we expect businesses throughout the country to seek greener, more sustainable plastic packaging alternatives.
Polyair: the solution
Polyair™ is currently the only 100% recyclable, carbon negative material available on the market. As the sugar cane from which it is produced photosynthesises, CO2 is actively drawn into the plant. In fact, for every 1 tonne of Polyair™ manufactured, 2.5 tonnes of CO2 are captured from our atmosphere. The Polyair™ manufacturing process still expends carbon, but because it has absorbed CO2 initially, the net result is a 100% recyclable carbon negative ethylene.
Sugarcane as a resource has received some negative press due to the destruction of habitat to make way for plantations, its intensive use of water for irrigation, its heavy use of agricultural chemicals, and the polluted wastewater that is routinely discharged in the sugar production process. This is why we only use extracts from waste sugarcane in our processes, enabling us to utilise an otherwise waste product to the benefit of the environment without contributing to wider ecological issues.
“The roundtable will be an excellent chance to thrash out a plan for how we can go about promoting sugarcane polymers as the go to choice for polythene solutions.”
James Woollard, Managing Director of Polythene UK
Following our initial embassy meeting, David Cameron contacted us to celebrate the positive meeting, praising our efforts to convene key stakeholders and drive both technological and economic change. Polyair™ has real potential to transform both the plastics industry and our global environment, and we are delighted to see our initiative being recognised at the highest level.
To help you continue to reduce your business carbon footprint, we must continue to drive change on both commercial and political levels. Our exclusive Polyair™ material can be chosen as an alternative to regular polythene across our full product range of bags, covers, tubes, films, wraps and stretch film, offering your company the opportunity to improve your green credentials, meet legislative requirements, and deliver significantly improved environmental solutions.