Let’s not pretend anything else – we’re a high profile supplier of plastic. Due to this we occasionally receive colourful comments on social media about our work.
It’s understandable, especially when you consider the implications of that figure above. Our oceans and our planet simply cannot take the current influx of plastic waste.
We don’t take these comments lightly and, in all honestly, it can be somewhat frustrating when dealing with knee-jerk reactions to plastic use. Particularly given the work we’re putting in to make positive changes.
Each year, around 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans. This is a truly horrific figure.
When we scope our customer’s pallet wrapping operation an important focus is always ‘doing more with less’ – wrapping each pallet with maximum efficiency and minimum waste. There are big savings that can be made here, albeit measures not as well publicised as recent moves by supermarkets.
In this respect, how many plastic bags have you stopped using this year at the supermarket?
An average HDPE plastic singlet bag (the type you’ll get in the supermarket) weighs about 6 grams (0.006kg). Let’s say a company wraps 100 pallets per working day in old-fashioned blown-film wrap. Realistically we can often save these businesses around 50 grams (0.05kg) on every pallet they wrap.
This means that in a year they’re saved the equivalent of 217,000 plastic shopping bags. 217,000 plastic bags are enough to cover Christchurch’s Hagley Park in plastic 1¼ times.
If we can make this saving for just ten clients we’ll be taking the equivalent of over 2 million shopping bags out of the supply chain each year. When laid flat that’s enough plastic to cover Auckland’s CBD 4.5 times over.
We are also working with recyclers to ensure our clients have the systems in place to collect plastic waste for re-use. New developments are underway to enhance and expand this approach and we look forward to sharing further news on this in the near future.
We are thankful that Universal Packaging has the reach and scope now to introduce innovative new products, to educate our customers and to work with others to ensure big gains can be made in waste reduction.
There’s a common saying, “you can’t steer an oil tanker like a speedboat”. We’re doing what we can to plot the course ahead, and to turn the wheel in the right direction. We could always use another navigator – or someone keen to come along for the journey.
So if you’d like to share your thoughts, or want to see how we can help your company cut back plastic use, please email [email protected] with ‘Wrap it right’ in the subject line.