Photo by Chris Crane/TerraCycle
As the utilization of single-use plastic bottles increases, so does the criticism for plastic pollution, convincing major companies to team up in order to reduce their output of single-use plastic products.
Starting this summer, companies including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, and Procter & Gamble will start a trial in which customers order products online that will be delivered to their door. Unlike most products in stores, these products will be stored in reusable containers. Once empty, customers will be able to send their containers for refilling using Loop, a platform created by a recycling company known as TerraCycle, in order to help the environmentally-conscious companies.
“If major companies use reusable containers, large amounts of people will be using reusable containers. Over time, this largely impacts the amount of plastic negatively impacting the environment,” said sophomore Maddie Dolenga.
In May 2019, consumers in Paris and New York will be able to order these products online and receive them in as little as 24 hours. Once people are done using the products, they can send back their empty containers to Loop. Loop will then sanitize, restock, and re-deliver the products to consumers in an eco-friendly and durable shipping tote, ready to be reused the next time a product needs to be refilled. Unfortunately, only a limited amount of products will be available at first, but the companies hope to increase the amount as they expand availability.
Though this does seem revolutionary, no one really knows how it will turn out. If successful, this change could influence other companies to make the change, thus decreasing the production of single use plastic products dramatically. However, this will not remove the plastic from the oceans and in may increase carbon emissions with the increase in delivery trucks.
“This change could make products more expensive. It might also be hard to maintain, and reusable packaging is less convenient because you cannot just throw things away,” said sophomore Danielle Shave.
The switch from single-use plastics to reusable containers is a big step towards reducing humanity’s carbon footprint. Pollution is a life-threatening issue, and maybe this change will move the world in an environmentally conscious direction.