That’s admittedly a dramatic opening to any article, but we’re straight shooting people and we like to call it like it is, and all indicators point to the fact that we’ve shafted ourselves. By we, we’re talking about the entire plant, and by shafted, we mean the plastic that we’ve strewn across the world, resulting in what can only be called a global crisis.
We’ve spent years living in a bubble of willful ignorance, consuming plastic in just about everything (quite literally everything), and now David Attenborough has weighed us all up and found us wanting. We’re referring to Blue Planet Two, which Attenborough, as Godfather of, well, just about everything (the man is a national treasure after all), highlighted just how damaged our oceans are because of the half a million tonnes of plastic swirling around it. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, or in a cave for the last year, you’ll have watched it and been as fired up as any of us as every conversation, especially those in offices across the land, turns to the documentary and our consumption of plastic.
Of course we weren’t immune to it over here, and because we spend our days working with retail brands, our conversation turned to the role brands play in crisis’s like this, and how much responsibility actually falls on the shoulders of the consumers. We’ve all been recycling like mad, trying to remain consciousness while having the occasional glass of almond milk to feel like green citizens, but when the huge corporations of our world are churning out plastic faster than we can say vegan, plant based and wooden straws, our efforts are superfluous in the face of those odds.
Perhaps the time has come to head straight to the source, and in this case, that is those mighty corporations that are producing mass amounts of plastic for us to consume. And if we do assume that recycling and plastic consumption now falls under an organisations CSR policy, how will that change things during the buyer journey, and how soon is it before it becomes a marketing tactic to entice socially aware consumers?
The answer is obviously not long, and you can already find some businesses making use of their ethical products and social awareness to bring more revenue through the door, but perhaps it’s time we look at this as a great thing. In fact, a pretty bloody wonderful thing. If we’re to assume that we’re entering a new phase of social responsibility, then brands changing their packaging or plastic consumption to meet the needs of these new consumers is quite frankly a great thing. Why can’t consumerism help save the planet as well as satisfying the buying habits of the nation?
It can, and in fact it should. We’re opening our arms over here to brands that are willing and ready to reduce their plastic consumption, even if it is only to satisfy a specific market, at least they’re doing it and surely that’s the step we need to take to stop living in this bubble, which by the way, is made of plastic.