As the world stands still amidst this global pandemic, evidence of our absence has been seen all over. Lakes and rivers are becoming clearer than they’ve been in years. Animals are being seen in locations that they haven’t been seen in because people are no longer overcrowding the area. This swift cleanse that evidently is proving to work on our environment proves that change as simple as staying home for only a week or two can do so much for the Earth. We could allow the Earth an even longer breath of fresh air if we are able to convince companies to see the importance of environmentally friendly packaging and encourage even more change then we are seeing now.

Companies need to see, understand, and apply action to the environmental impact that something seemingly as simple as packaging has on our world. While, yes, spending more money on safer and friendlier packaging would not be the cheapest route, the impact reusability has on our environment allows for significantly less waste produced by everyone. Since the packaging can potentially be reused; it promotes more household recycling and could lead to more spread profit to companies who create reusable packaging. Companies who change to have a greener initiative would both look great for the company and could promote community service like beach cleanup, recycling programs, etc. Advertisements for their change in packaging would also spread the word and might get those who see the ad to generally feel happier knowing that there are companies out there trying their best to help the environment. All in all, the change in production to environmentally safe packaging would be beneficial for the planet and for the PR team.

With social media, the promotion of environmentally safe items and their importance is already a big deal as many people consistently spread awareness of our environmental conditions. If we want more companies to adopt environmentally friendly packaging, we must get the large corporations to participate to truly make it “important.” The demand for recyclable items would skyrocket as most people see the importance of these environmentally safe materials and would want to supply the cycle with more recyclables. It seems obvious that protecting our environment is important, but the capitalist agenda cares more about financial gain than creating a lasting world for future generations.

I, truly, am trying to avoid a snob approach with my arguments, as it seems so clear that the pros of environmentally friendly packaging are countless against the cons. I do understand that not all companies, big or small, could afford such a drastic change to their production. Even though our support for our planet should be incredibly valued, businesses will always think about money first. This is just one of the few challenges we may face when making more transitions. Minor setbacks won’t be able to sway my generation because we are the ones that will be living in the future. However, a bigger focus on reusability and environmentally friendly packaging would help spread awareness and potentially be a small step in our path to help the Earth.

Essay by: Emma Geiger
Millard North High School/Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

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