Building on our report on the impact COVID-19 has had on the sustainability agenda, ESM caught up with a number of industry leaders seeking to drive positive change, including Alan Vandermolen, Senior Vice-President and Chief Communications Officer, SC Johnson.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, without doubt, had an impact on the plastics system, with the use of plastic increasing due to multiple factors, from more reliance on single-use containers to an increase in medical equipment and PPE.
However, at SC Johnson, we remain relentlessly focused and continue to consider plastic waste to be the single-biggest environmental issue we must address as a company. We are constantly innovating and pushing ourselves to create more sustainable products and packaging, and that hasn’t stopped over the last year.
For many companies, a key challenge for tackling plastic waste is finding suitable alternatives to plastic packaging, alongside the associated issues with recyclability and the required recycling infrastructure. We believe it will take a combination of government regulation, consumer interest in sustainable products, and innovation from businesses to solve the challenge.
In terms of opportunities, we are now at an exciting inflection point, where most people recognise that this is an important issue that isn’t going away. There is an increased realisation that creating a circular economy is more important than ever, in order to both address environmental challenges like plastic pollution and rebuild the economy.
We all have a responsibility to address this critical environmental issue, but, equally, none of us can solve this challenge alone. It will take a unified effort from business, alongside government and civil society, to create meaningful change.
Businesses have a responsibility to innovate and create sustainable packaging and products, so sharing targets and achievements demonstrates relentless focus on achieving real change. An open, transparent approach also has the possibility of inspiring others to do the same.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.