29 Jan World Economic Forum 2019
As top opinion leaders are meeting in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, also controversial topics come to the table. GLOBEONE followed different “hot topics” in this year’s Forum, such as the panel discussion “Plastic Pollution: An End in Sight?” including speakers such as the Heather Koldewey, Ocean plastics expert & Fellow of the National Geographic Society, Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Oceans and Tom Szaky, author & Founder of the recycling specialist TerraCycle.
While everybody acknowledges that plastic waste is a major global challenge, it was also made clear that plastics in general should not be demonized. It is a highly useful and versatile materials and without alternative in many application areas. Saying that, it was emphasized that plastics – lasting several hundred or even thousands of years – is way too valuable to be thrown away or to end up in landfill or ultimately the oceans. Manifold ways were outlined how to deal with this challenge, also making clear that consumers need to make a difference through buying no or less one-time use products or products with massive plastics packaging. At the same time, brand owners are asked to really make a difference through smarter use of plastics in product design or making products more easily recyclable. From a technological standpoint, almost everything can be recycled as long as there are incentives to do so.
From a product development and brand point of view, this challenge can also be seen as an opportunity to steer the positioning more proactively into a more sustainable & purposeful direction.
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