Luke Douglas-Home of Clear Public Space Space
Litter & Levies, Brands playing their part
As Jacob Hayler, Executive Director at Environmental Services Association (ESA) said in a recent statement with regards to a policy paper that they released in 2016, “Cigarette butts and chewing gum are some of the most littered items in the UK. Transferring the cost of preventing and clearing up these items from the public to the private purse could save local authorities in the region of £300 million each year". With local authorities freed up of this responsibility, this money could be invested elsewhere such as improving education and healthcare services.
Every community wants to keep their streets clean, but it costs to do so. The ESA reported that clearing up litter costs local authorities in the UK, around £800million annually. To support local councils and tackle this expenditure, the ESA have suggested an ‘Applying Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)’ initiative which would see producers and brands adopt “levies” to be paid per product sold in order to generate the necessary funds to help with the costs of cleaning up litter. CPSL’s A Future without Rubbish™ works to reduce these costs, by education.
It is an opportunity for big brands to display an ethical policy and meet a growing UK customer demand for more sustainable packaging production as mentioned by the worldwide authority on the packaging: Smithers Pira and recent Unilever research.
Here are two big drink brands who claim to be taking ownership for their products and have considered recycling and the environment within the manufacturing of products: 1) London based smoothie brand ‘ Innocent’ started a project called ‘aim’ which literally aims to have all of their bottles made from recycled materials as possible. 2) Coca Cola tries to include sustainability within its brand vision with it’s ‘Drink, Twist and Recycle”- scheme as well as showing public support for the introduction of a UK deposit return scheme. In several markets, they now work with bottlers who implement a LOHAS twistable bottle idea. Through using lightweight materials, they invite consumers to twist their empty bottles and crush them down before recycling. We look forward to seeing the realities of their support for the new deposit scheme and work with said bottlers. Meanwhile, in the USA, there are some really interesting and positive changes happening to big brands. Find out more here. Do you know of any other brands who are taking conscious steps to make their packaging more sustainable?
We’d love to hear about them! Leave your comment below, contact us or post on our Facebook page or Twitter.