Plastic is the leading form of packaging in the consumer world because it is both inexpensive and durable. The ease of plastic, which comes from its ability to be molded to any shape whilst remaining durable and its low costs for production use, has led to its widespread popularity among most retailers. Large companies have thus opted for the single use plastic which now causes immense strain on our planet. Everything comes at a price, however, and what cant be paid for in money is paid for by our planet when it comes to plastic packaging.

Plastic packaging is no longer only crowded throughout stores and restaurants, it has also begun to invade all areas of life. It is not simply isolated to the products we buy and the stores we frequent, but it has begun to follow us to areas where we do not desire plastic. Cities are littered in it, beaches have plastic strewn along their shores, even a simple walk down the street does not allow for the escape from it. As the welfare of eco-systems begin to drop and the consumer demand increases, the crisis is not diminishing. The urgency and necessity of adopting environmentally friendly packaging is apparent as landfills begin to overflow and ecosystems become clogged by it. It is a problem which follows us to all areas of life and requires a solution which will impact not only the health of our planet, but also the health of humans.

Although the necessity of environmentally friendly packaging is easily seen when in the perspective of what is best for the planet, the benefits for companies are not as easily distinguished. Companies who require profits and growth do not see the direct benefit of using environmentally friendly packaging. Single use plastics are still chosen over alternative packaging by most producers. Its versatility coupled with its cost-effectiveness makes it a good choice for companies with both small and large product output. Markets are changing, however, and through modern technology and widespread information, consumer awareness is growing. Through environmentally friendly packaging, companies have the ability to build a better reputation to consumers building their customer loyalty. Society has begun to value not only the products they recieve, but also the means through which they receive them. As new information surfaces on the dangers of plastic waste, public outcry for companies to reduce the amount of packaging that makes it to a landfill has risen. Companies rely on the support of their consumers, and thus cannot ignore such widespread criticism. Those companies which choose to adopt environmentally friendly packaging can appeal to this new wave of concerns raised through the access to knowledge of the dangerous effects of plastic.

For both the fact that all humans depend on the environment which single-use packaging is damaging and that a new wave of consumers is seeking out a way to create a healthier planet, plastic packaging is something which companies should look to incorporate into their businesses. Single-use plastic is not only outdated, but also harmful to the planet and all its inhabitants. A widespread adoption of environmentally friendly packaging can lead to the increase of customer support, and to the knowledge that the planet is not being harmed directly by the sale of products.

Essay by: Johanna Hissler
Cicero Preparatory Academy

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