Plastic pollution has always been a concern in modern society, but the awareness peaked last June 2018 when National Geographic magazine published an image in its cover that soon became an organic social media campaign (#PlanetOrPlastic)
Vaughn Wallace, National Geographic’s Senior Photo Editor tweeted the cover, and as you can see, by now the image has gone viral in most social media platforms.
This article on the magazine’s website shares some important stats about plastic usage:
• Each year, between 5.3 million and 14 million tons of plastic waste enters the world’s ocean from coastal regions.
• The Walt Disney Company announced it will ban plastic straws and stirrers at most of its theme parks and hotels. Currently, more than 175 million plastic straws and stirrers are used at Disney parks each year.
• World plastic production has increased exponentially —from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015.
• About 40% of all plastic produced worldwide is used in packaging. Much of that plastic is used only once and then discarded.
The chart below shows the share of the global packaging market in 2017, by packaging type. As you can see, the biggest players are “Flexible packaging” and “Rigid plastic”.
Although this chart is already a few years old, the trend hasn’t changed significantly today.
According to some print and signage specialists, packaging is one of the print sectors that is driving more revenue in the print industry, and this trend is only growing.
WWF’s campaign to reduce plastic consumption in packaging
This campaign created for the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) is described by The Dieline as “packaging to eliminate packaging”.
This idea comes from the fact that our society consumes a lot of products—chemical products—which come in plastic containers.
This awareness campaign is based on the idea of replacing not only the plastic containers with more sustainable solutions, but also the chemical products contained in it with nature’s own solution.
The print industry needs to be aware of the trends to develop new sources of income, but also needs to know about the impact that a new line of print products may cause.