#ZeroWasteWeek and the problem with packaging
This week 3rd-9th of September #ZeroWasteWeek, a grassroots, global campaign started in 2008, raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste through reuse, recycling and repurposing material for a longer life.
What does 'Zero Waste' actually mean?
The way our modern day lifestyles have been set up makes it impossible to be 100% 'zero waste'. However, instead of this referring to creating no waste at all, we should instead consider it as referring to the journey of minimising our impact by cutting down on unnecessary, single-use materials that can't be recycled or composted, and being mindful that we only use exactly what we need.
The problem with packaging
There is no denying that we have a packaging problem. Our obsession with the excessive use of single-use, throwaway packaging (especially plastics) is having a devastating effect on our planet. Although some of this packaging can be recycled, most of isn't. The reality is that most of our waste ends up going straight into landfills, taking anything up to 1000 years to decompose.
Wherever we can we should be avoiding packaging completely or opting for re-usable, biodegradable or easily recyclable packaging. It is also imperative that we are then making sure any packaging we do use is being disposed of properly.
Here at Georganics we do everything we can to avoid using single-use plastic. We do have to use packaging however, we have tried to opt for materials that have the least amount of impact possible. For example, all our products come in biodegradable kraft paper boxes which can go straight on the compost heap, come in glass jars with aluminium lids, and the boxes and packing materials we use are compostable and recyclable.
#ZeroWastePackaging Audit Sheet
We've created a Packaging Audit Sheet inspired by #zerowasteweek. We know that the idea of 'zero waste' living can be a little overwhelming so this sheet will allow you to break things down into easily digestible steps helping you tackle one thing at a time. Filling this out over the next week will help you see just how much packaging you use, where it's ending up and what you can be doing differently.
How do use it?
- Over the next week (and beyond) start thinking about all the packaging you are throwing away.
- Before it becomes waste, note it down in the 'What is the packaging that is being disposed of' column.
- Then consider why it is you are throwing it away? Is it because it's single-use and you don't have another use for it? Is it because it's broken or unusable? Note this down in the 'Why is the packaging being disposed of column'
- Next is the 'How will it be disposed of' column. This will help you think about whether it is going to landfill, being recycled or being composted. Ideally, you won't have many items in the landfill column, and if you do use the 'Could this be avoided, if yes how?' column to figure out what you could be doing differently to prevent as much waste going to landfill.
Download your editable copy here.
We'd love to know how you got on and what you discovered through using the sheet. Let us know in the comments below or tag us in your social posts.
If you have any ideas as to how we can improve our packaging to reduce our impact even further, then we are always open to ideas and please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.