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The Plastic Effect

It’s easy to separate yourself from an issue if you do not directly suffer from the consequences.


We all regularly become angry when we find some litter dropped outside our front door, or watch someone throw rubbish out of their car whilst driving, but does this adversity encourage us to invoke and promote change? We all get excited anticipating the arrival of our latest online purchase, but are often shocked by the amount of unnecessary packaging. Does this encourage you to change your habits? Often we all feel helpless when it comes to the issue of plastic. Surely I am not alone whilst wishing to change our habits but feel helpless doing it alone. What true difference will I make if I stop purchasing plastic bottles of water? Many say there is no answer, but there is. We can make a difference if we use our platforms and collective responsibility to use our Environmental Conscience. We as global citizens all have a duty and a part to play.

We are all influencers

As a marketing agency, we at Zero Above understand that we have a responsibility to promote and invoke change. It is time to be honest. We may feel helpless as individuals trying to tackle environmental issues, but no one is truly alone. Whether it is our family, friends, hobbies, employment or education, we as a society are constantly connected. All interactions with people can be utilised as daily platforms to promote ethical choices and change. We are all influencers, simply with our profound use of social media. If we all took a minute of our day to circulate environmental content, how would our actions towards the issue change? The majority of us feel we understand the importance of recycling and the dangers of plastic, but do we know the real facts? If we all truly understood the vital need to cut down on plastic wouldn’t we be progressing at a faster rate to solving the issue than we are at present?

The true damage

An estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced to date. The material that transformed global industry and revolutionised modern living has existed for less than a century, yet nearly every single piece of plastic created still exists in some form. In 2015, just 9% of the worlds plastic had been recycled, with the biggest amount of waste being plastic bottles. An estimated one million plastic bottles are produced per minute, with each bottle taking 450 years to biodegrade.

Changes that inspire

Plastic pollution is incredibly daunting, but instead of letting that put us off attempting to change, those stark figures should be enough to set everyone into action. Recent policy changes show promise for the future, with UK councils promising to tackle the problem of plastic bottles by encouraging free refill points and fountains, to be set up in local shops, cafes and high streets. Whitbread is the first company to sign up, pledging to provide free drinking water in each of its 3,000 Costa Coffee and Premier Inn locations from March. London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan has also promised to build at least 20 extra water fountains in the capital. The Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to ban all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042, but this has concerned environmentalists. The government's plans are vague, giving nothing away as to how they will be measured and enforced. They have also faced criticism due to the length of time given to these commitments, which are not backed by law, money or an enforcement agency. Can we rely of governmental policy to invoke change? Of course, we all know the answer to that question. The environment no longer needs promises, but real action from the whole of society. As a business, we collectively see the vital need to promote and invoke change, through conversation, education and action. #PassOnPlastic