The environmental impact of plastic and packaging waste is a worldwide problem, and it keeps growing dramatically. While there is an ongoing change in the society, less than 9% of all plastic get recycled. Every year, 10 Million tons of plastic trash are being dumped in our oceans – an unbelievably huge number, and an alarming one above all! According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050.
As a globally operating company, we are strictly following environmental regulations and laws, but beyond that, we are actively taking our own preventive measurements to secure a cleaner future. This is a process which is never really completed – there is always room for improvement to become a more sustainable enterprise. In this post, we want to give you some insight about our current situation and ideas.
Less plastic waste in product packaging
Plastic for product packaging is used only once, and then thrown away. According to Plastic Oceans, 50% of all plastic produced (which is 380 million tons per year) is for single-purposes. When products are shipped, each item is wrapped in a separate piece of plastic. Starting from PM5, we are going to omit the plastic packaging entirely. Additionally, we are looking at methods to replace the coated black boxes we use for some products with environmentally friendly paper boxes. In order to avoid scratches and other damage from shipping, the inside of the box will be redesigned, too. This is a process that started in 2021, and will take well into next year.
No more plastic in our café
Honestly, we love coffee, and we can hardly work without it. Needless to say there is a lot of plastic waste for single-use cups worldwide, but also in our company internal café. Since July 2021, there is no more plastic cups given out to our staff anymore. Instead, we replaced them with eco-friendly, reusable cups. Similarly, we abandoned all plastic straws. This reduced our plastic waste in our café tremendously! We also encourage our staff to bring in their own cups or tumblers, which is an even better solution.
Reduced amount of printed data sheets
Printed paper data sheets have been around for decades in order to introduce a product to a client. For example, when attending a trade show, we typically bring 50-100 data sheets per product, which can easily result in close to 1,000 data sheets per show. While they serve their purpose very well, we have reached a time where a more sustainable solution should take over. That’s why from 2021, we started experimenting with alternatives. One of which turned out to be both good for our planet, and more convenient for our customers: By providing the data sheet via QR code, customers can directly access and store desired information on their smartphone or tablet, for easy follow-up later on. That said, it’s important to know that this is just the beginning, and it will take time to adapt. And while we cannot ban printed data sheets entirely, we can still reduce the amount dramatically. It’s also worth mentioning that we are going to abandon all company folders made of plastic.
In the next few years, we will do more and more in order to reduce our ecological footprint. There is still a lot to do, and all of us need to be more conscious and make significant changes to our consumer behavior for a sustainable, low-carbon future. But we can’t solve this problem all by ourselves: consumers, companies, as well as politics need to reform together.