Beach 2020 – time to get on the diet!

17 October 2018

By Johan Granås
Head of Sustainability

Who lives in a timber house and loves ice-cream

Dieting is no fun! To be successful you need to change and start thinking of how you act. And no matter how important it feels change is painful, especially when it comes to your own behavior. But Beach season 2020 is different people, very different!
Just ask any turtle, beach side living bird or sea lion! They would all cry to you: Change – because we need it!
Are you ready to start your plastic dieting?

Plastic is all around us. If I look around where I am sitting in my office writing this I see plastics everywhere: The keyboard, the mouse, the chair, cables, pens, headset, the flower pots (the plants are real though). The floor is wooden (and just supernice) but in the ceiling there is some kind of noise cancelling foam, plastic of course.  My Nike sneakers are plastic, parts of my clothes as well and my gym bag behind the door is plastic and filled with all plastic “functional training clothes”! 
But just how functional is this plastic lifestyle we have made for ourselves?

Results from research led by Cardiff University's School of Biosciences recently revealed that microplastics are widespread in insects from UK rivers. Plastics were found in approx. 50% of the sampled insects. Ok, insects, you think, who cares?
Just consider that insects often are at the bottom of the food chain and that we often are at the top. A trout eat massive amounts of insects, we eat the trout… 

So regardless if you do it for the sea lion, the insects or your own health, it’s about time for you to start your plastic dieting. To help you get started let me help you with a couple of “plastic dietary advice”:

Start simple – The magic is in the small everyday things. Open your eyes and see the unnecessary plastic you are surrounded with: The coffee cup lid, the bubble plastics in the Amazon shipping, the plastic yogurt cup that just as well could be made of paper.
Once you open your eyes to the massive amount of completely unnecessary plastics we surround ourselves with there is no going back!

Make an active choice – Once you are aware, start making active choices. Skip the useless plastic toy in your kids Happy Meal, buy them a book instead. Pick the ice cream packed in paperboard not in plastic tubs. And for the love of God, please, when you are thirsty go to a nearby tap and pour yourself some fresh water. Skip the single use plastic bottles of water. They are probably the one

single worst polluter of our nature at the moment. You can often find alternative to plastic products or to plastic packaging of products if you just open your eyes and make an active choice.

Recycle – Plastic is fantastic! For many applications plastic is the best material for the job, no doubt. So for these things, make sure you recycle the stuff. And put pressure in producers and communities to make sure products are recyclable and that there are functioning recycling systems in place.  My Nike shoes are going back to their plant in Meerhout, Belgium to become part of the Nike Grind recycling program.

For those of you involved in packaging, you need to stay one step ahead and make sure you do all you can to stay healthy and get rid of as much plastic as possible.  If you want to learn more about the positive effects of plastic dieting and learn what You can do, come see me and my brother in arms, Staffan Sjöberg at Sustainability in Packaging in Barcelona end of October. 


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