ESA Plastics pollution project

At the extremely well supported ‘Plastic Packaging’ workshop which took place during the Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that a Task Force would be set up to push the project forward. This team, representing all the ESA divisions, has now met four times by teleconference and made good progress.

The original idea was to rethink the way we package our products using plastic material, but this has been extended to reducing or eliminating single-use plastics in all areas of our business. The main goal of the project is to try and guide all members to achieving best practice and learn from each other’s successes.

A set of objectives has been defined:

  • To raise awareness within the ESA membership of the damage to the environment caused by single-use plastics across all areas of our businesses and obtain commitment to address this.
  • To work with our members to mitigate the effects by encouraging and facilitating the removal, reuse and recycling of single-use plastics.
  • To seek out and ally with other organisations to develop best practice in single-use plastics reduction including finding alternative solutions.
  • To find ways to measure the effectiveness of this initiative in reducing plastics usage.

Investigations into potential professional partners to help us with the project have identified one organisation with particular experience in this area and they are being asked to assist. A budget has been agreed by the Executive Committee.

One of our member companies, Burgmann Packings, has already made great strides in putting in place a process and already identified many areas where plastics can be eliminated. This methodology is to be shared with all members by means of a new presentation which is to be circulated shortly.

We are also setting up a dedicated area under the ‘Environmental’ tab on the website and this will contain an interactive facility for members to populate with information on substitute materials and other successes. All members will also find the minutes of the last meeting held on the 5th December in the Members Area of our website. (If you require the password, please contact Mark Neal.)

The secret of success will be a willingness within all companies from senior executives to the whole workforce to buy in to the concept and take action. If you think you can help or have ideas which we should be implementing, please contact project co-ordinator David Edwin-Scott.