Environmental Impact of Single-Use Plastics

Single-use plastic products include plastic bags, straws and other plastic items that are generally thrown away after one use, creating more waste and impacting the environment.

The Problem With Single-Use Plastics

As per their name, single-use plastics are plastics that consumers use once before disposing of them. The life cycle of these products can cause devastating effects on the environment:

  • Plastic clogs the earth: Plastic cannot degrade quickly due to its nature and composition. Thus, decades-old plastic waste takes up vast amounts of landfill space, polluting soil and water.
  • Plastics may be accelerating global warming: Scientists have linked the disposal of plastic as a factor in the increasing rate of climate change. Plastic waste can also negatively impact various species and ecosystems.
  • Plastic production and recycling deplete precious resources: The production of plastic material involves using finite resources such as petroleum, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Plastic recycling uses massive amounts of water, energy and other resources.

Biodegradable and Compostable Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

How can businesses use less single-use plastic? Here are a few sustainable practices:

  • Phase out the use of plastic cutlery and plastic packaging in the workplace: Introduce sustainable options such as compostable cutlery and paper straws.
  • Redesign operations and the supply chain to minimize plastic usage: One place to introduce sustainability is by implementing eco-friendly consumer packaging.
  • Implement take-back programs for plastic waste recycling: Get consumers on board with environmental initiatives and gain more fans and advocates among your customer base.

Battle Plastic Use With Sustainable Packaging

Single-use plastic production and consumption is still a significant issue around the world. Ensure your business is on the right side of the fight for the environment by considering Great Northern Packaging for your supply chain. Learn how Great Northern Packaging fights environmental waste in our Social Responsibility Report.

We offer consumer packaging solutions for whatever quantity and sizes you need in sustainable materials, from chipboard stock to corrugated. Get in touch with us today.

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