(Plastic) litter in the ocean – the right solutions are key

(Plastic) litter in the ocean – the right solutions are key

Used plastic does not belong in the ocean – we all agree. However, it is not the material itself but especially infrastructure deficiency and undesirable human behaviour which are compounding the environmental problem. In any event, humankind needs to act and remedy the situation. Superfos, a company of Berry Global, is determined to promote improvements.

Plastic waste does not belong in the ocean, no litter does regardless of the material − we can all agree about that. Plastic is, however, an essential material in many applications bringing countless advantages to our daily lives. Therefore, we need to look at the bigger picture. Business Development Manager at Superfos, Uwe Zinnert, says:

“Litter on both the land and in marine environments is a global issue that needs solutions. However, while there is a broad consensus on the issue, it is crucial that the measures we take to solve it are based on facts. We need to react now, but panic can create bad environmental solutions in the long run. Many positive initiatives are happening at the moment, which is fantastic, just as long as they do not potentially create more problems than they solve.”

Blaiming the material can have negative consequences
Demonizing plastic as a material can lead to serious consequences for the environment and climate considering the unique, beneficial characteristics of the material in that context, such as light weight and versatility.

Uwe Zinnert continues: “Instead we very much need to consider human behaviour or lack of desirable behaviour as key to the problem. A major issue today is insufficient infrastructure where around 2 billion people in the world do not have access to solid waste collection. In fact, we need to improve our waste management systems globally. Another challenge is the way we as people handle used plastic on an individual level. We should adapt our mindsets to the Circular Economy and think ‘valuable resource’ instead of ‘waste’. As such, the solution to the litter problem lies not in a worldwide backlash or ban, but in structural and behavioural changes.”

How Superfos contributes to solutions
For Superfos it is important to contribute to the Circular Economy by designing packaging which is sustainable and suitable for reuse and recycling. To help us and our customers do so we are implementing the Circular Grading Tool. The tool is developed by RPC Group Plc., now acquired by Berry Global Inc. The grading tool provides a visual representation of how recyclable a piece of plastic packaging is, on a scale from A to F. The tool can also give other indications related to the Circular Economy, which makes it easier for our customers to request highly circular packaging. 

In this way we strive to secure - already at the product design stage - that as little as possible goes to waste later in the product life cycle.

In addition, our sites are currently very committed to implementing the Operation Clean Sweep programme throughout our organisation. The goal is to prevent resin, pellet, flake and powder loss at plastic production facilities in order to protect the environment, not least the oceans.

Furthermore, we proactively participate in the development of design guides for recyclable plastic packaging and encourage the political sphere we are a part of to ensure uniform waste collection and sorting systems.

More information
Would you like to know more about this subject both in terms of facts and what we are doing to contribute to solutions? Please take a moment to watch this short video about ocean plastic and check out some important facts and figures on litter and the environment presented to you in the form of an info sheet. You can also read the RPC Responsibility Report 2019 for more information on which efforts for our planet Superfos is a part of. For your information, kindly note that on 1 July 2019, Berry Global Group Inc. completed the acquisition of RPC Group Plc.

Associated files

Want to know more?

Uwe Zinnert
Business Development Manager
Berry Superfos
Phone: +49 172 7282 935

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