Consumers! You are in the driving seat
Charlotte Raynsford |

We have been excited to read recent news stories which reveal that some big UK and international businesses have plans to put the issues of sustainability, unnecessary packaging and waste management at the centre of their policies.

On a trip to IKEA to purchase some flat pack furniture and an obligatory vanilla candle last week, our communications officer was shocked to find that the layers of plastic packaging used within boxes for most of the furniture packs there still exist. Throwing away bag loads of plastic bags is not a great feeling and she began wondering whether (with mounting pressure on businesses to be more green) IKEA had started to think about sustainable packaging ideas. She decided to explore…

It turns out that they have done just that. In March, The Telegraph reported that IKEA have revealed plans to make packaging made from mushroom composite as an eco friendly alternative to polystyrene, which can take over 450 years to degrade in landfill.  Also, international clothing giant, H&M have recently  unveiled plans to become ‘climate positive’ and as part of their sustainability plan, they will create a climate neutral supply chain by 2030 which they say will have impact by 2040. The key points to H&M’s target are plans to increase the use of renewable energy, the adoption of a ‘circular economy principles’ and a pledge to use 100% recyclable and sustainable materials in their products by 2030.

Tackling the amount of waste our consumerist habits create has long been at the centre of sustainability debate and it’s great to see some bigger brands taking things a little more seriously. The high street vegan cosmetic brand “ Lush” which began life in Poole, Devon has been exploring recycling initiatives for some time. They created a ‘five pot return’ scheme among other ideas such as using 100% post-consumer plastic for bags. Their products often come without plastic packaging. In fact Lush claim that they save 6 million plastic bottles by selling ‘ Shampoo bars’ alone. The economic incentive behind the ‘five pot’ scheme has proved successful and as a brand with a young following, we hope something of an inspiration and eco-friendly example for the consumers of tomorrow.

At the other end of sustainability, it’s been wonderful to read about Gatwick Airport’s pioneering ‘ energy from waste’ plant, which opened in March 2017. Hailed as a ‘world’s first’ the new waste management plant  which was opened in partnership with DHL Supply Chain, not only allows the South London airport to process high-risk Category 1 airline waste on-site and in a safe manner, but it can also convert the waste into energy to power both itself and eventually create heat for the nearby North Terminal.

That so many companies are starting to think about waste, sustainability and the chain of where all packaging goes, is wonderful. Here at CPSL we believe that any kind of global change requires a change in attitude that comes through education, setting a good example and the economic incentives of businesses. We consumers are in the driving seat.  For this reason, we want to celebrate sustainable plans and initiatives set out by these companies, and believe that big brands such as IKEA and H&M taking these steps are at the beginning of a long march, with more and more joining as we advance!

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