Transitioning Away From Plastic Important To Drive Profitability, Competitiveness

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Transitioning Away From Plastic Important To Drive Profitability, Competitiveness

Transitioning away from the use of plastic will help businesses maintain profitability and competitiveness into the future, while also mitigating financial risks, a new report by PlasticFree, A Plastic Planet and Fashion Snoops has found.

The report, The Post-Plastic Economy, suggests that our relationship with plastic will become 'unrecognisable' in the years to come, given the rising tide of plastic pollution policies.

Some 731 plastic mitigation policies coming into effect between 2012 and 2022, while by next year, a legally-binding UN Global Plastics Treaty will also be in force, which will apply to the 175 nations currently involved in its negotiations.

As a result, continuing to use plastic presents a $100 billion annual financial risk to businesses by 2040.

'A Toxic Default'

“Plastic has become a toxic default for a model of business predicated on ecological degradation and an inherent disregard for its impact on not only the planet’s health but our own. But it doesn’t have to be this way," commented Sian Sutherland, co-founder, PlasticFree and A Plastic Planet.


“The past decade has seen an upward trend in consumer demand for change, legislators are increasingly drafting policy to tackle the crisis and yet many businesses are still wedded to a take, make, waste attitude. Ultimately, change is coming, and I now ask brands this simple question – ‘do you wish to be the last to move?  Businesses globally face a choice; whether to be a leader, grabbing the opportunities in the post-plastic revolution or to be a future dinosaur.”

Design Strategies

The report outlines 15 design strategies for brands aiming to balance protection, convenience, and affordability traditionally associated with plastic by leveraging natural alternatives and embracing reuse and right-to-repair models.

It also recommends associated measures to future-proof businesses, such as investing in a comprehensive traceability system to assess materials' environmental impact, staying informed about global plastics legislation, and ensuring all sustainability claims are supported by third-party verified data to avoid greenwashing accusations.

"Eliminating plastic is more than a sustainability strategy—it's a lucrative business manoeuvre that will future-proof companies and unlock opportunity," added Jenna Guarascio, head of content and innovation, Fashion Snoops. "The best part? An abundance of groundbreaking, cost-effective innovations are ready and waiting to be harnessed."

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