There is no doubt that we are going through an environmental “eye-opener” for the glass industry…and there has never been a better time for glass packaging manufacturers in particular to be seizing the day, and pushing their credentials.
For so long the target has been the release of chemicals over time from plastic alternatives, and yet, the tide of expansion by those offering such products was scarcely being stemmed.
However, perhaps “tide” is the appropriate word to use now…as who would have thought that a seminal BBC documentary – Blue Planet – that set out to highlight all that’s incredible about the world’s oceans, ended up being a campaign leader for the parlous state they are in, and the damage that plastic is doing to them.
Suddenly, the world has woken up: floating masses of plastic debris in the ocean; beaches strewn with bags and bottles, packaging and straws; microbeads finding their way into our food chain. All of these have focused attention like never before, and consumer choice seems finally to be turning the table.
For example, the news that Australian ready-to-drink beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has pledged to make all of its packaging recyclable by 2025, should not come as a surprise this month, and will undoubtedly be followed by innumerable similar actions the world over.
Amatil’s move will cover all bottles, cans, plastic wrapping, glass, and cardboard, and is in line with Australia’s National Packaging Targets announced by Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price.
Under the proposed sustainability initiative, the company will also focus on removing unnecessary single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the implementation of recycled alternatives.
Coca-Cola Amatil group managing director Alison Watkins said: “As a beverages manufacturer, we’re serious about playing our part in addressing recycling. We’ve heard the community message loud and clear that unnecessary packaging is unacceptable and we all need to work together to reduce the amount entering litter streams, the environment and the oceans.
“The National Packaging Targets aim to make a substantive improvement in packaging waste reduction, which is why we’re proud to be a founding supporter and to champion their implementation by industry.”
The latest announcement made by the government builds on the packaging recyclability commitment announced at a meeting of federal and state environment ministers in April.
At this meeting, the participants committed to making all packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier in the wake of the Chinese ban on imported plastic waste.
The recently announced packaging targets include 70% of Australia’s plastic packaging to be recycled or composted by 2025 and the requirement to ensure all packaging has 30% recycled content.
Earlier in October, Amatil shareholder The Coca-Cola Company signed the Ocean Plastics Charter, which requires signatories, including governments, industry and the public, to rethink their relationship with plastics.
Good news for us. Great news for the planet. Fantastic news for all those in the container glass industry at last.
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