Around 50 per cent of the five million tonnes of plastic currently in circulation throughout the UK each year is used for packaging; maybe a quarter of which gets recycled. This compares pretty well with the proportion of waste to consumption worldwide, which could be as much as 90 per cent of total production. As the graphic images that have dominated media coverage over the past two years have illustrated only too clearly, it’s the material’s principal attributes in withstanding everyday wear and tear that are likewise its biggest disadvantages in effecting its disposal. Ironically, it’s quite simply too fit for purpose.
Hitherto, the bio-based sector has maintained a relatively low profile whilst the public debate has raged post-Blue Planet; wisely so since whether that plastic detritus polluting the oceans has been made from fossil-fuel or plant-life it’s still just as much a hazard to marine life. With the focus extending to the more critical concerns over climate change, however, and as the retail supply chain comes to terms with the sheer impracticability of abandoning plastic packaging over the foreseeable future the time couldn’t be more propitious for it to set out its stall as the go-to resource for a more sustainable direction of travel going forward.