More than ever, consumers, investors, and stakeholders are demanding immediate action against plastic pollution. Meanwhile, decision-makers struggle to navigate a sea of frameworks, opinions, and apparent solutions.
Specialist tools and professional advice can help companies get out of this bind.
But access to external support may not be enough. An informed plastic footprint reduction strategy also requires curiosity, introspection, and a pinch of critical thinking.
So, where should you start? We wrote this article to kickstart your plastic action journey.
The 3 Principles of Plastic Footprint Reduction
1. Avoid the Use of Plastics Where Possible
Don’t utilize more material than is required to complete a task. Where appropriate, explore the substitution of plastics with an alternative material. However, before making any material substitution, inform your decision by performing lifecycle analyses (LCAs). This will help you sidestep unintended consequences.
2. Optimize the Sourcing and Design of Essential Plastics
Where plastics are required, evaluate the sourcing of recycled, or responsibly sourced bio-based plastics. The product design can also have a noticeable impact on the likelihood of plastics ending up in nature. For example, try to avoid multi-layered materials, challenge the choice of colors, and leave out unnecessary additives.
3. Act and Engage for a More Circular System
Act and engage for a more circular system: Once in the hands of consumers, the method of disposal is difficult to control. To minimize the likelihood of plastics ending up in nature, you can act and engage for systems change on three levels:
- Accelerate circular innovations: Today, there are myriad innovations that have the potential to meaningfully accelerate the transition toward a circular economy for plastics. Unfortunately, many of these early-stage initiatives lack funding to develop and maximize their potential. By streamlining finance to innovators that redesign processes, develop alternative materials, and empower consumers to positively change their behavior, you have the opportunity to complement your internal initiatives.
- Improve waste management systems: You can do more than supporting circular innovations. Contributions can improve current collection systems, processing infrastructure, and market mechanisms. Financial instruments such as green bonds or voluntary contributions like plastic credits help you lead the way.
- Engagement and activism: Demonstrate thought leadership by raising awareness and engaging with your stakeholders. Engage and act through organizational awareness, industry collaboration, and policy endorsements.
Start Navigating Your Plastic Action Journey
Ampliphi is here to help you with three simple yet systematic steps. Contact us today to get started.
- Understand your status quo: Analyze your plastic footprint with our tested methodology for plastic accounting and our powerful data visualization tool.
- Reduce your plastic footprint: Turn ambition into action by accessing vetted plastic action initiatives. We only recommend initiatives that avoid plastics from leaking into nature, reduce greenhouse gas emissions (compared to the status quo), and maintain your stringent quality standards.
- Communicate and monitor your progress: Spread the word through transparent sustainability reporting, storytelling, and stakeholder engagement.