Sustainability is becoming an increasingly relevant topic as we see the repercussions of waste as a global community. Assuring that ethics come into play with the supply chain is vital when it comes to treatment of the workers as well as the effects of productions on the environment. Amidst a pandemic, single-use plastics are consistently in use only to be disposed of. Plastic has a variety of important functions, but companies must produce plastic that can be reused, recycled, or disposed of in a way that does not put our environment at risk.

The maintenance of this planet is reliant on ecosystems that have a very delicate balance. When pollution, especially from plastic, intervenes with nature on land, and particularly in our bodies of water, it puts that balance at risk. Many people think that the use of plastic is inconsequential as long as they don’t directly toss their trash onto the ground, when this isn’t true. Due to the amount of time it takes for plastic to decompose, it piles up in landfills which is able to end up in natural environments, endangering them. Because so many are not able to see where their waste goes, or how much of it they are producing, it is up to the production companies to come up with solutions.

Plastic use isn’t something we can remove from modern society, nor should it be completely eradicated, but if we are going to be using it, the masses should be aware of the consequences on the environment. Education is a large factor in slowing down pollution, but companies need to be at the forefront of that movement. When people are not faced with the direct consequences of their actions, they may not care about them until it’s too late. If companies, like Dura-Pack, are able to use different, more environmentally friendly, materials for their packaging it could make a large difference in waste. As an education major, I still of course think that knowledge about disposable item use for the people, children especially, would help curb some of the massive waste we produce. Having companies who are leading the change would not only look good for the company but would actually initiate massive change that could help our environment.

In a society that values efficiency and ease, wasteful products will be used, and often. It is up to the companies who are producing the packaging and using it to try to educate people on what effects it may have on the environment, or how to properly recycle it. Not only should companies be up front about the negative effects of their packaging but work towards using products that are bio-degradable and will not harm the environment and pollute our oceans in the way that plastic has. Due to current circumstances and the heavy use of wasteful products in daily life it will be a long journey towards sustainability, but when companies such as Dura-Pack lead the change towards greener packaging, it will inspire others to work towards the same goal.

Essay by: Lauren Mackenzie Smith
Arizona State University

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