World Environment Day 2019
Wednesday 5th June 2019 is officially ‘World Environment Day’. Founded by the United Nations in 1974, the event has become an annual method of enhancing awareness of environmental issues and promoting responsible behaviours to protect our world. The United Nations state that since World Environment Day began, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries.
Although the specific focus for 2019 is Air Pollution (of which burning waste plastics are a major contributor), it is no secret that plastic waste itself has been top of the environmental agenda for a few years now – indeed the official theme of the day for 2018 was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.
The UN Environment last year used the event as a global call for action for the world population to come together to tackle plastic pollution, calling it ‘one of the great environmental challenges of our time.’ Although acknowledging the clearly valuable properties of plastic, the campaign highlighted single-use or disposable plastics in particular as the main cause for concern. 50% of the plastic used on Earth falls into these categories. The UN cite that ‘every year, up to 13 million tons of plastic leak into our oceans, where it smothers coral reefs and threatens vulnerable marine wildlife…’
Our commitment to the environment
As a supplier of various types of plastic film for packaging purposes, including polyolefin and polythene, we are fully versed in the plastic dialogue. At YPS, we understand the gravity of the problems surrounding plastic waste, and as such are fully committed to ensuring that we as a company have as small an impact on the environment as possible. With this in mind:
YPS promise to continue supplying only fully recyclable plastic wrap products
We are pleased to confirm that our entire range of shrink films are recyclable to LDPE 04. Furthermore, as members of OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label), our polyolefin products can be officially labelled as ‘Recycle with bags at larger stores – Check Locally Kerbside’. Increasing numbers of councils are now collecting LDPE 04 waste from homes, and widespread mixed plastic recycling collection plans are well underway to be rolled out across the whole of the UK within the next five years. As they are recyclable either in supermarkets or at kerbside, there is absolutely no need for our plastic shrink films to contribute to the 13 million tonnes of plastic identified by the UN as finding its way into the ocean each year. With events like World Environment Day, together we can improve education around recycling behavours, so that higher and higher proportions of recyclable products are actually recycled each year.
So what exactly can be done with plastic films from YPS when they are recycled?
- They can be reformed and re-granulated back into shrink films
- They can be made into plastic waste sacks and household bin bags
- We have also seen them reborn as plastic park benches and other similar items!
Furthermore, don’t forget that:
- Shrink films preserve, protect and extend the shelf-life of perishable foodstuffs to reduce food waste, another important environmental issue
- Transit shrink films protect goods from damage by being water-tight and preventing breakage, reducing waste and returns
- Shrink films can provide a tamper-evident seal to prevent pharmaceutical and medical products being rejected and therefore wasted. Shrink films also maintain complete hygiene for these products.
- Ultra-thin films are now available that reduce the overall volumes of packaging whilst delivering the same yield and properties
Changing attitudes and increasing awareness
Between now and the next World Environment Day in June 2020, we pledge to continue raising awareness within our industry and with our customers of the recyclable properties of our products and how this message can be communicated to their end-users. We will also encourage wherever suitable the uptake of our B-NAT bio-based shrink film, which is composed of 46% sustainable sugarcane ethylene that is not cultivated on arable land, can be sealed at low temperatures for energy efficiency and is again fully recyclable.
If you would like to trial any of our recyclable plastic films, call our shrink film experts today on 01924 441355!