For some time plastics have been seen as the enemy of the environment. It is true that plastic waste is a problem, but designers and manufacturers can help us all work towards becoming a 'reusable' society rather than a 'disposable' society by thinking carefully about their design and the types of plastic they are using.
Here are a few examples of how sometimes plastics can help the environment.
The Bodyflik (1) and Bodyflik Sport (2) squeegees are used to remove excess water from the body after a shower or bath ensuring less water is soaked up by a towel. The towel therefore stays clean and dry for longer than usual reducing the need to wash and dry it as often, so less energy is needed for laundry.
By replacing the Celebrations tin with a plastic tub (3) Mars has reduced the overall weight by 46% achieving a 720 tonne yearly saving in material. The new tub is designed with reuse in mind; the tub is freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe. The milk pouch (4) and refillable jug (5) reduce the excess packaging weight and space needed for a normal 2 pint plastic milk bottle. These products now need smaller delivery vehicles; a smaller vehicle requires less energy to run and emit less CO2 into the atmosphere.
We live in a disposable society. It has become the norm to buy something, use it, and then throw it away without giving much thought to what happens to it next. It is likely that what is thrown away adds to landfill or becomes litter on the streets or in our waterways.
The Ribena (6) and Innocent Smoothie (7) bottle are made from 100% recycled material, (although the caps and shrink wrap sleeve are not). The disposable razors (8) are made from recycled yoghurt pots rather than virgin material, and the Original Source shower gel pouch (9) is made of 75% less material than an equivalent bottle. The toothbrush has replaceable heads (10 - 11). These are all examples of how we can reduce the amount of landfill pollution material by using less raw / virgin material.
The silicone Mooncup® (12) is reusable and will last many years reducing the amount of sanitary waste disposed of each year dramatically. The recycled carrier bag (13 - 14) prevents the need for disposable carrier bags when shopping and the Jar Tops (15) can make jars easily reusable. These products help to reduce waste by being reusable and encouraging us not to use disposable items.