Plastic pollution is one of the biggest concerns these days as the fight to be more environmentally friendly kicks up a gear. The banning of plastic straws recently made headlines but plastic is used for much more than just straws.
It seems everywhere you turn plastic is being used in some capacity in one variation or another. Household appliances are no different you can see plastic being used in the packaging of all kinds of products however things are starting to change.
Appliance manufacturers across the world are joining the fight to be more eco-friendly and reduce plastic pollution. According to research from Repair Aid, a number of household manufacturers have recently introduced big changes that cut down on plastic significantly.
Not every manufacturer has introduced such changes but many have been quick to act. This is good news for the environment and could be taken as a sign that more household appliance manufacturers will be taking an eco-friendly stance towards staying green.
The UK and The EU
While the UK and the EU are in news mostly for other matters these days both governing bodies have been quick to act against the increasing threat of plastic pollution. The European Commissioners Director General for the Environment Daniel Calleja Crespo has urged businesses to focus more on sustainability.
Around 30% of plastics are recycled in the EU a good start but there is plenty of room for improvement. He also re-emphasised his commitment towards strengthening the position of recycled plastics in an interview with Packaging News.
He said: “We need to improve the demand for recycled plastics, and we have created the circular plastics alliance, which is about improving the economics and quality of plastics recycling in Europe and strengthening the match between the supply and demand for recycled plastics”
He also had kind words for the UK saying: “Whether inside or outside the EU, I trust that the UK remains firmly committed to maintaining high environmental standards in the future and reducing packaging waste, regardless of the shape that our future relationship may take”
The UK has also introduced a new initiative to help tackle waste from plastic and textiles. The was opened on the 12th June 2019 and aims to help boost recycling. Around 40% of plastic produced in the UK is used in packaging which this new scheme aims to cut.
The UK government has undertaken a lot of measures to help reduce plastic waste with the plastic bag charge being significantly helpful in reducing waste. Plastic straws, drinks stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds will all be banned from April 2020 as well.
These are just a couple of examples of how some of the world’s leading governing bodies are fighting back against plastic waste and pollution. But manufacturers are also joining in the fight against plastic pollution as well. Let’s look at some of the ways plastic is being cut already.
Reducing Plastic Waste
Samsung is one of the world’s leading household appliance manufactures but it has already started planning to reduce its levels of plastic waste. In January 2019 they announced they would be replacing traditional plastic packaging with environmentally sustainable materials.
Environmentally sustainable materials can take many forms but it is often paper and recycled bio-plastics when it comes to packaging. But Samsung has also changed the designs of some products to help reduce the need for plastics as well.
For example, their phone chargers no long glossy exterior meaning there is no need for plastic protection films. Gyeong-bin Jeon, the head of Samsung’s Global Customer Satisfaction Centre stated: “We are committed to recycling resources and minimizing pollution coming from our products”
He added: “We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost.” It’s certainly great to see a leading manufacture like Samsung take such a stance against plastic waste but other manufacturers have been making changes as well.
The popular appliance manufacture Bosch have strongly been promoting their range of eco-friendly green technology appliances. They state that many of their home appliances are amongst the most efficient and eco-friendly but they have also implemented a greener delivery service as well.
This doesn’t just relate to their packaging materials either although Bosch does proudly state that 92% of their production waste is recycled. They also ensure they maximise their transportation potential to help cut CO2 emissions. Bosch is a great example of how manufacturers can look beyond the obverse to help reduce waste and be greener.
Fisher & Paykel is another manufacturer who has been placing a stronger emphasis on staying green and focusing on sustainability. Many of their appliances have been notable for reducing energy consumption and their range of refrigerators is particularly laudable for this.
They also gave dedicated recycling programs and use the most eco-friendly materials possible in their manufacturing. Fisher & Paykel are also notable for being an officially registered recycling centre as well. In the fight to reduce plastic waste, it’s no surprise to see that a stronger emphasis is being placed on recycling materials.
The AO group a domestic appliance and consumer electronics supplier in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands also as recently announced plans for a new recycling facility. Under the name AO Recycling the facility which is planned to be built in Telford, England should be able to process more than 700 hundred thousand fridges per year.
The battle to combat plastic pollution is really just beginning but it is good to see so many household appliance manufacturers already combatting the problem. There is certainly a need for change and many manufacturers are embracing it.
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