If you watched Blue Planet II then you will have seen the devastating impact plastic is having on the ocean and marine life. If you didn’t watch it, you’ve probably heard about it. This was the catalyst that’s finally forced some assertive demands for an end to the unnecessary mountains of plastic that are produced by manufacturers each year.
It’s baffling that it’s taken so many years to get to this point, when everything we buy is now covered in this stuff, even products that come in their own natural packaging like fruit and veg.
Momentum is now gathering pace, and wherever you look new bans or suggested bans are being put in place. Among the first is a ban on plastic cotton buds, drinking straws and stirrers – what will be next?
Brands of all shapes and sizes are responding with an array of innovations – we see some giving an eco twist to their standard plastic packaging like Ecover, brands like Vegware replacing plastic with compostibles, and some start ups tearing up the rulebook completely and doing away with packaging altogether like ‘The Orb’ – a ball of water enclosed in a thin membrane of transparent seaweed extract.
Beyond packaging innovation, the UK's biggest companies are launching bold initatives like Sky Groups 'Ocean Rescue' campaign that aims to inspire employees to make small everyday changes - like swapping out single use plastics - to collectively make a huge difference. Encouragingly, there is also collective action across corporations, with over 40 of the UK’s top companies (responsible for over 80% of supermarket plastic) promising to make 100% of their plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Whilst it can be frustrating to the consumer that the touch of plastic is so enduring, it is also important to remember how difficult it can be for large global businesses to change course, adjust supply chains and still make things work financially.
However, it really does just take a bit of creativity, bravery and insight to identify what can make a big difference and positive impact.
Change doesn’t have to be complicated. A brilliantly simple example is the 5p plastic bag charge adopted by the big supermarket chains in 2015, which saw an 83% drop in plastic bag usage in its first year, resulting in around 30% fewer bags in the world's oceans. This was painfully easy to do and made many consumers wonder why it hadn’t happened 20 years earlier.
At Redblue, we’re driven by our passion to make a real difference for our client partners, and have helped brands in a range of categories identify the most powerful ways to meet changing consumer needs and government legislation.
If you want your brand to be a front runner in the growing eco friendly movement, and want to know what your customers really care about, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d love to help you on your journey.