I recently had the pleasure of speaking at Plastics News’ annual Caps & Closures conference about end of use challenges for these important packaging products. As we work to solve the global challenge of marine litter, including ocean plastic, it’s never been more critical to engage with packaging designers, converters and brand owners and help ensure they understand the scope of the problem, get up to speed on what the larger industry is doing to work on it, and learn how they can help.
Among industry professionals, the benefits of plastics in packaging applications are, for the most part, commonly understood. Strong, lightweight plastics are amazing materials that contribute to sustainability by helping to reduce energy use, waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Caps and closures is a vast and intricate packaging market segment with applications across almost every market sector, including beverages, cosmetics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. They are ubiquitous, and unfortunately, “caps” are one of the top 10 items collected during annual International Coastal Cleanup events. In 2016, they were reported as the 4th most littered item.
Keeping Caps and Closures from Becoming Ocean Plastic
When plastics end up as ocean litter, their full sustainability benefits aren’t realized. No one wants to see trash of any kind in our environment. Plastics makers realize that ocean litter is a major, global problem and are committed to providing solutions. My presentation at the Caps & Closures conference walked attendees through the latest research on where most plastic is leaking into the worlds’ oceans. I also talked about the global plastics industry’s 6 point strategy for combating ocean plastic, as well as ways they could help prevent marine litter through implementing Operation Clean Sweep in their manufacturing facilities, product design and consumer education about how to properly recycle caps.
Here’s my presentation in case you missed it. Enjoy!