Decades of producing endless single-use items and other disposable waste has fueled an out-of-control plastic pollution crisis with alarming environmental impacts. Across the world, waste management systems have struggled to cope with the extensive amounts of waste we produce. As a result, only a small amount is recycled with the majority ending up in landfill, incinerated or sadly in our natural environment. Alarmingly, according to National Geographic, eight million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, choking marine life and damaging ecosystems.
Now more than ever we need a radical solution that dramatically cuts down waste and prevents resource exhaustion. A new white paper published by BRITA has suggested a societal shift to reuse could be just the solution. Bringing together leading experts from NGO’s and policymakers to business leaders, the white paper suggests that prioritising reuse could bring a myriad of environmental and economic benefits. It also warns that current waste management methods are not enough, and that we cannot solve the plastic pollution crisis without a rapid and revolutionary approach to reusable and refillable systems.
Reaping the benefits that reuse offers will require a three-pronged approach. Firstly, putting reuse on the national curriculum will help to drive generational behaviour change, and will have a long-term positive impact. Secondly, businesses must make reuse accessible and simple, putting it at the heart of products and strategy. Lastly, the Government must drive forward policy change to foster innovation and help to create a circular economy that will leave less of an impact on the world.
You can read the full report Unwrapping Reuse Culture below.