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Reimagine products to ease plastic pollution, says Sagentia

21 May 2018

Rethinking the way some consumer products are presented could significantly reduce plastic waste, according to Sagentia, a Science Group company.

The science and technology specialist also emphasises the need for a cohesive, cross-industry approach that openly acknowledges both the complexity of the issue and the important multifunctional role plastic often plays. Without a deeply-rooted and integrated approach, Sagentia cautions that gaps in the ability to replace, reduce or reengineer plastic packaging will remain unclosed. Consequently, plastic reduction initiatives will fail to properly address the issue. 

In a move to help consumer industries tackle these problems, scientists and engineers at Sagentia have produced a white paper ‘Breaking up with plastic’. Available for download free of charge, it outlines a three-phase technical framework to facilitate the reduction of plastic packaging. 

Simon Norman, one of the paper’s authors and applied science consultant at Sagentia, says that in some cases it will be necessary to change the way products are presented, prepared or consumed.

“Much of the time product development is considered separately to packaging development,” he explains. “But with such a siloed approach there is less opportunity to get to the crux of issues that result in the need for plastic packaging. Whether it’s pod coffee machine refills, shampoo bottles or disposable razors, different organisations and specialists need to work together to reduce single-use plastic. 

“Addressing this issue requires consumer insight and understanding of the manufacturing and distribution stream, combined with scientific knowledge of the products themselves and properties of various packaging materials. And crucially, the industry needs to find ways to cut plastic waste without compromising important factors such as food safety and consumer enjoyment.” 

Breaking up with plastic, technical steps to rethink, replace and reduce plastic packaging is available at https://www.sagentia.com/insight/breaking-up-with-plastic/


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