Meeting the plastics challenge with Carbon Smart

Single use plastics make the news on a regular basis and there is growing pressure on businesses to reduce and manage their packaging, but where should you start?

Improving the sustainability of your packaging

Blue Planet struck a chord with the public. The result: plastics have made their way to the top of the agenda for most businesses, most likely yours included, regardless of sector. The spotlight is now on you; customers, staff, the public and NGOs are all asking the question:“what are you doing about it?”

It’s a tough question: The right answer isn’t always obvious

Particularly when you start to weigh up other consumer demands such as health and safety or convenience. There is no one solution that fits all. The nature of your business, the recycling facilities available to you and to your customers, the appetite and the budget are all factors in determining which solution is right for you. Furthermore, you may already know that some of the alternatives such as bio-plastics come with their own challenges such as land-use change, creating more uncertainty over which alternative is better than what you currently have.

You may look to the government, but you will not get an answer just yet. The government has acknowledged the challenge and has pledged to stop all avoidable plastics by 2042 but are still developing their plans. ​

UK government pledges to stop all avoidable plastics by 2042

The world is responding to the plastics challenge, which requires organisations to be clear about their approach 

Compostable, biodegradable or bio-based plastics

How we can help you​

Despite the clear and public concern, businesses must now develop their own approach to meeting the plastics challenge. By starting now, you have the chance to get ahead of the legislative curve and address one of the greatest sustainability challenges of our time.

Our services

Reduce or eliminate single-use plastics

The future of single-use plastics is uncertain. Countries such as Kenya and Costa Rica have banned single-use plastics or certain types. In the UK, the government is currently assessing the economic, environmental and social impact of banning a selection of single-use plastics. Our team will work with you to identify sources of single-use plastics across your value chain, looking at your products, restaurants and transport packaging, quantify their impact and develop a prioritised action plan for your business to work towards reducing or eliminating single-use plastics.

Support you select the right plastic alternatives for your business

When selecting an alternative, it is important to understand the environmental impacts of your decision, whether the new solution is feasible and whether it can be used to its full potential. Our plastic experts will work with you to identify the most appropriate solutions for your business and carry out an impact assessment to ensure you understand the positive and negative impacts of the selected solutions.

Improve on-site recycling

All your sites should be set-up with good, simple and effective recycling systems. To ensure this is the case, our team can carry out a recycling health -check assessing the current effectiveness of your system and help you improve by reviewing bin infrastructure, company culture and procurement practices.

Help your customers to do the right thing

Increasingly businesses are being held accountable for the plastics they produce. We are seeing an increase in options to go plastic free, plastic waste take-back programmes or options to dispose waste in the stores. Our experts can help you identify end-of life solutions for plastic products and packaging to help your customers at home recycling.

Establish due diligence approach to ensure plastics are ethically sourced

Plastics are a low value product often produced in unregulated countries, where the risk of modern slavery is significant. Further down the value chain, once you get to plastic waste and recycled plastics the risk is even greater. To minimise the social risk in your plastic value chain Carbon Smart can help you establish where your business’s greatest risks are and establish a due diligence approach to engage with your suppliers.

Social risk and packaging White Paper

Modern slavery

There is no one solution that fits all; the nature of your business, the recycling facilities available to you and to your customers, the appetite and the budget are all factors in determining which solution is right for you. Got a question? Talk to our plastics experts: 

We need to talk about plastics

We produce 300m tonnes of plastic a year and only 20% of it gets recycled. 8m tonnes enters the oceans each year, and currently, over 5 trillion (yes, trillion) pieces of plastic are floating on the surface of our seas and oceans.

So what can UK businesses do?

Sector focused: food and beverage industry

Sustainable packaging in food & beverage industry

‘Aim high or don’t bother’: A leading bank tackles climate change

Phase-out any single-use plastics by 2020 and replace with reusable or compostable materials.

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. 

environmental performance and waste management

By focusing on the material issues that banks are facing around sustainability, and by setting clear targets, this bank is continuing to champion excellent waste management and stay ahead of its peers.

Supply Chain Team

Senior consultant supply chain

Jessica Cresswell

Senior Consultant

Managing director at Carbon Smart

Ben Murray

Managing Director

Verane Gross

Vérane Gross

Consultant