Day by day the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, orbiting around the Sun that is perfectly distanced from our planet Earth, as it peacefully sustains life within its waters and on its land. As human development expanded after the industrial revolution, greenhouse gas emissions that came from the burning of fossil fuels releasing into the atmosphere, caused detrimental damage to the ozone layer which resulted in the spiking of global temperatures; this was on top of the unfathomable amounts of waste that are generated annually across the globe. Large corporations play a large part in the manufacturing and distribution of single use plastics and other containers but face no penalty for the enormous amounts of litter and improperly disposed of waste that clogs up our rivers and pollutes our oceans. In an effort to Go Green, companies should adopt the policies of using biodegradable containers or offering incentives for customers who reuse their containers. This could be done by installing refill machines, like those similar to water gallon jug refilling machines, or customer loyalty programs that track each refill and offer coupons or something similar. Companies should adopt policies that benefit the environment because in the vision for a sustainable future, it is not only about the people of the present, but also the people who have yet to come and their environmental stability. It is crucial to maintain the planet’s ecosystems and it cannot be done with massive amounts of plastic bottles, glass containers, and aluminum cans ending up in the ocean, vandalizing not only the habitats of the aquatic creatures that lurk under the water, but the oceanic species themselves. There is also the problem with Styrofoam being almost completely immune to degrading, therefore leaving every trace of every Styrofoam piece manufactured as an open wound for our natural ecosystems and waterbeds. Although it is a cheaper alternative to plastic, the effects Styrofoam has on the environment should completely outweigh the few cents savings a person would get from purchasing a beverage made from its material at a convenience store, for example. It would not be such a bad thing for an elite company to be the first in truly investing in a greener way to package their products since competitors will respond accordingly. If it were a smaller company that broke ground on the most sustainable way to purchase food and other goods with limited packaging, on top of being more environmentally friendly than its competitors, it would create great success for that business. With that, there would be a boost to their revenue leading to an increase in demand which will boost the economy even further. I believe it is necessary for companies to invest in eco-friendly packaging in order to preserve the environmental well-being of future people. This can be done by not focusing only on the population and conveniences of today, since everything we do in the present leads us to our future. The sooner policies change now, the greater the impact the future will have, which we have yet to see and much to do about!

Hayley Morgan Hinkle
Arizona State University