Counting Down the Top 10 articles of 2020 - #10: Solutions for a Circular Plastics Economy

Based on online clicks and unique page views, we are counting down the Top 10 articles of 2020. Join us as we look back at the best of 2020. Anne Marie Mohan's report on The Packaging Conference's take on a Circular Plastics Economy checks in at #10.

According to research from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, just 10 river systems—eight in Asia and two in Africa—carry 90% of the plastic that ends up in the ocean.
According to research from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, just 10 river systems—eight in Asia and two in Africa—carry 90% of the plastic that ends up in the ocean.

Anne Marie Mohan reported in March 2020 from the Packaging Conference takes on sustainability, in particular the war on plastics, shedding light on the monumental challenges facing the packaging industry and how they are being addressed.

In November 2017, the BBC aired Episode Four of the Blue Planet II, “Big Blue,” which was seen by 14 million viewers. Presented by Sir David Attenborough, the episode bombarded watchers with footage of birds and marine life devastated by the effects of marine pollution. That single, 50-minute broadcast triggered the biggest consumer backlash against Consumer Packaged Goods companies and producers of plastics in recent times. It became the flashpoint for changes in consumer buying behavior, anti-plastic campaigns, and legislation related to single-use plastics that only continue to grow.

Dubbed “the Blue Planet effect” or “the Attenborough effect,” the consumer movement against plastics uses as its rallying cry images of beaches littered with mountains of plastic bottles and sea turtles and other marine life entangled in plastic ring carriers. So much so that nearly half of the 27 speakers at The Packaging Conference, held in early February in Austin, Tex., used pictures such as these in their presentations to illustrate why there is such urgency around finding solutions to packaging waste...

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