Fact check No. 7: a question of attitude
Plastics are a large part of the worldwide waste problem. But they are not its cause. For when plastic ends up in the environment, this is due to us human beings alone – exactly like the responsibility to change something about the problem.
WWF estimates that of the 78 million tonnes of plastic packages used every year, 32 percent end up unchecked in the environment – and most of them in the ocean. However, this does not mean the responsibility for the waste problem lies solely with emerging countries near the coast. For the majority of the plastic waste is carried into the ocean via rivers from the interior of the country. Furthermore, in industrialised countries like Germany as well, it is apparent that waste collects in the environment – whether it’s at the edge of cities, in public parks or on fields.
What needs to be done?
Media and consumers increasingly express the desire to replace plastics with alternative materials. But in view of the waste problem, nothing would be gained from it: Bio plastics and other alternative materials also become a problem if they end up in the environment instead of being properly disposed of and recycled. In addition, plastics fulfil so many functions in our lives that a blanket renouncement of them would be neither practical nor feasible. As a result, it would be more urgent and above all more effective to change the way we think and act. For plastics are not in themselves dangerous – but the often much to short-sighted handling of them is.
Every individual is important
Politics, business and consumers bear equal responsibility for improving this. At Krones we are always thinking of practicable solutions. Our material-saving packaging designs, energy and media-efficient environmental machines or recycling systems for PET and other plastics: Our solutions are targeted at making the sustainable use of resources as simple and profitable as possible. The driving forces behind them are you, the many doers at Krones, who continually demonstrate how much can be achieved with optimism, drive and a healthy portion of critical thinking. However, if it’s a matter of ensuring the future of our world, we bear the responsibility not only professionally, but also privately. For every cigarette filter flipped away, every beverage bottle lost on the road and every package that is disposed of anywhere besides in the collection of recyclables contributes in part to the problem. And as a result, each and every one of us also has it in his/her own hands to change something about it.
Even though this was the last part of our fact check, the topic of plastics and sustainability will continue to occupy us intensively at Krones. Would you like to find out more or discuss with our experts? Then come and visit us at K 2019 in Düsseldorf. The fair starts on October 16th. You will find us on the open-air grounds at Stand 15.1.