We’ve all seen the media storm surrounding plastic consumption and the damage our over-use of plastic is having on the environment. One of the first products highlighted in the media was single-use plastic straws, and as a result their use is decreasing daily and the movement to eliminate them altogether is incredibly strong. Of course, the plastic problem goes far beyond just straws; “We look at straws as one of the gateway issues to help people start thinking about the global plastic pollution problem,” Plastic Pollution Coalition CEO, Dianna Cohen, told Business Insider. “They’ve been designed to be used for a very short amount of time and then be tossed away.” You can see why it is a great starting point in the war against plastic.
The anti-plastic straw movement may have first picked up steam because of a viral video showing a turtle harmed by a plastic straw that started circulating in 2015, gathering further momentum after the BBC series, Blue Planet II, highlighted the scale of sea plastic pollution.
Whilst we acknowledge that straws are just one example of the misuse of plastic, we know there is so much more that needs to be tackled. For example, single-use gift cards. Plastic gift cards are energy hungry to manufacture, they are not environmentally friendly, they can be challenging to recycle and most of them end up in a landfill, yet there are millions of gift cards produced every year by some of the biggest names in retail. Indeed, many are still offering single-use plastic gift cards to their customers.
However, there are alternatives to plastic gift cards that are not only more environmentally friendly but can often be more cost-efficient to produce. Printing on paper is not only much less environmentally harmful, but it can also provide an added level of security. By using highly advanced printing technologies that cannot be copied or forged, businesses get all the benefits of attractive, customised vouchers, plus the peace of mind that they are protecting themselves from the risk of forgery as well as reducing their carbon footprint.
In 2016, plastic consumption worldwide totalled 335 million metric tonnes. In spite of a new awareness around plastic pollution, this figure is only set to rise. Although gift cards may only seem like a drop in the ocean, when you combine the thousands of huge retailers distributing them, the impact of their effect is clear to see.
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