Opinion Piece – Climate Change

We need to talk about climate change.

More so now than ever in history, the effects of climate change are becoming all the more apparent, and the general consensus is that we need to do what we can to ensure that we do not reach a point of no return. While many a packaging invention, such as plastics and foam, have made great waves in the industry, there’s no denying that they have become a large problem when talking about general waste and their effects on the environment.

Now, this may seem somewhat hypocritical coming from a packaging company. It’s hard to deny that at Packitsafe our business is predominantly in materials such as paper and plastic. There are definitely certain things that are, unfortunately, out of our hands. For example, it is still frustrating that different types of plastic require different methods for recycling, and that local authorities have separate infrastructures in place that result in very conflicting messages about what plastics can be recycled or not. Even in our warehouse, despite our best efforts in ensuring the correct materials are sent out correctly – waste paper and plastics are sent to different processing plants for example – we have to take it on faith that it’s all processed correctly once it leaves our premises.

But that is not to say that we can wash our hands of it. As a company it’s extremely important for us to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can, whether that be through buying in products made from recyclable materials or built from renewable sources. We also advise on how our products can be reused, to reduce single uses.

But when it comes to becoming carbon neutral, it’s worth looking at what the biggest companies of the world are doing. Amazon has pledged $2 billion with the aim to become carbon neutral by 2040, and Microsoft are aiming to go further by becoming carbon negative by 2030. Despite quadrupling in size in the last ten years, Apple have reduced their carbon footprint by 64%.

While these numbers are impressive, what is being done to achieve them? A big one for many companies is the move to electric engines for their delivery vehicles. There’s still a way to go regarding the largest of these, however this is likely to change considering Tesla have announced their plans to build a fleet of heavy duty electric lorries. A lot of companies are also now switching to power gleaned from renewable sources, like solar or wind energy. There still much to do before this becomes accessible to everyone, but with the big names leading the example, and the technology becoming exponentially cheaper, there’s not reason to think that alternative sources for energy won’t be readily available within the next ten to fifteen years.

There’s definitely a ways to go before businesses of all sizes, ours included, are able to go fully carbon neutral. However, until that time, we will do what we can, when we can.

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