Introduction and Description of the Topic
Plastic Pollution is one of the hazardous pollutions against which we are fighting since the start of the 21st century. The use of plastic not only affects us, but it also affects the marine life. Due to this pollution, many marine species got endangered as the plastic is non-bio-degradable and people through these plastics made things as waste in the sea after they are being used. Atzori, Shapoval and Murphy (2018), professes that not only the marine life is getting endangered but when big waves come to the coastline, they bring a huge amount of plastic waste with them thereby covering the whole coastline with plastics and plastic made things. However, Dauvergne (2018), also informs that the Government of different countries even joined their hand and is spending a huge amount of money for making a plastic free environment. Within the scope of this report, a detailed discussion and analysis based on the highlighted news article have been conducted in order to showcase how the government of various countries have taken a leading role to prevent plastic pollution by ensuring proper and scientific usage of plastic along and restricting the flow of non-biodegradable plastic with runaways in to oceans and landfills.
2. Summary of CSR related news
The article highlights clearly the stats provided by the Science Awareness journals and UN Environment Program. These sources reveal that plastic have been produced at an average rate of 8 billion tons per year out of which approximately 6.3 billion are converted to plastic waste and the minor rest percentage becomes recycled. The worst part of the impact of this, as discussed in this article, is when the non-recycled and non-biodegradable plastic goes in to ocean with the effluents and the runaways. In the ocean bed, the effluent plastic creates fragmental minuscule particle and amply harms the marine life causing imbalance in the ecosystem. As per the findings of Horodytska, Valdés and Fullana (2018), plastic component in the landfills have also increased by 0.6% in the last few decades because the quality, texture and combination of the soil is being affected. So, to quote Horodytska, Valdés and Fullana (2018),
“Our fight is against the way we use and dispose of the plastic.”
Till now, different corporate companies use the plastic to make the packaging for their products in form of soft plastic balls, plastic packets, and plastic wrappers and so on. However, Iwata (2015), depicts that in most occasions non-biodegradable plastic is being used heavily. In spite of the proclamation on the part of the government to use bio-degradable plastic or alternative material, the production of non-biodegradable plastic or its usage have not decreased at all. As an obvious consequence, this article highlights that plastic accumulation in oceans is supposed to multiple three times within 2025. The Science research Division of the UK government have provided this statistics. The government of all European countries, as the article speaks, have united to highlight this issue of plastic waste mismanagement. In this context, the bloc-wide strategy adopted by European Union can be discussed.
The main culprit in the plastic pollution is the technology companies who pack all their products in different types of low quality and non-reusable plastics. Those along with other companies have been instructed strictly to reduce their usage of plastic carry bags as a part of the strategy of the EU. More the Union government have pledged for additional investment of 100 million Euro for development of a better form of recyclable plastic which is commercially cheap like ordinary plastic.
Analogous to Europe, the government of Indonesia have also taken the decision to invest approximately $1 billion for R&D regarding the development of degradable and reusable plastic material. In this context, the article also discusses the worldwide efforts and specifically the role of the Singaporean government for the development of the corn syrup based bio-plastic.
The CEO of bio-plastic manufacturer Olive Green have stated that the enthusiastic role of the governments of the South Asian countries to stop production and loitering of non-biodegradable plastic have surged up the necessity of using bio plastic and the article states that it is a positive indication that the sector of bio-plastic production is projected to reach $65 billion by 2022. This is a sure implication that the active role by the national governments have been able to instil the necessity to drop using plastic products among the civilians.
Figure 1: Chart showing the amount of non-reusable plastic thrown by following countries
(Source: Kishna et al. 2017)
3. Current Research Literature Review
3.1 Single use Shopping Bags
Single use carrying bags are a god alternative to conventional plastic carry bags. In this context, the role played by the Montgomery government deserves mention. The government gave subsidy to various shopping complexes for making wide use of single use bags. The span of these bags are 12 minutes. The government stressed that the grocery stores around the country’s wet market strictly use these bags. Today about 70% of the grocery stores of the wet market around the country use these bags. Owing to the liberal approach of the government, the production of single use carry bags have emerged as a new industry in the country.
3.2 Using reusable plastic and paper bags
In Los Angeles, USA, the government asked the grocery stores, food stalls and other miscellaneous stalls to offer customers a choice between paper bags and long term use plastic bags. It have been observed in a survey after the implementation that the paper bags were more in demand. As they were attractive and free, Iwata (2015), states that those paper bags became largely popular among the people. On the contrary, Tullo (2018), states that the growing propensity to use paper bags was due to the government regulation that all plastic bags would be chargeable by €0.02. Naturally when the paper bags came free and people had lots of stuff to carry, only 5% of the civilians declined the bags.
3.3. Consumer Education by the government
One important strategy that governments of countries like Australia and China have used is to create education and genera public awareness for the reduction of the use of plastic bags. In order to achieve this, the respective governments have carried out PR campaigns and visual campaigns in various indoor and outdoor contexts to make the move. The campaigns have specially emphasized on making people educated regarding how the plastic pollution can affect ecosystem. As per the ideas of Prakash & Pathak (2017), the best part of the campaign is that people are getting to know how their own misdeed can cause harm back to themselves. However, as observed by, Kim (2017), the campaigns also define how the people would be penalised if they do not follow the regulations of the government regarding the reduction of plastic pollution. This is the reason why the rate of plastic usage have dynamically dropped.
3.4 Research connections to the current news story
Major Fast food, drinking water bottling chains have been requested to join this initiative. The iconic water bottling company ‘Evian' was asked by the local government on 2017 to use only re-usable high-quality grade plastic without any bump in the price and replace all their bottle with this plastic by the end of 2025. Against this, they gave the company an 80% rebate on corporate tax (Dauvergne 2018). After the implications of the American government and the UN to reduce worldwide usage of non-disposable plastic, the world-famous coffee giant, ‘Starbucks' is also working on high-quality paper cups. The company have promised to find out an alternative to single-use plastic straws by the end of 2020 and will implement these to all their stores, globally.
The national governments guided by the international agencies like the European Union and the United Nations have stepped up to develop strategy for the reduction of plastic usage since the starting of 2014, when most of the coastline areas of Asia, America and Australia started getting covered with the plastic wastes, which was basically the plastic covers of the products from these companies. Analysing the basic findings, it can be opined that in the present time, the governments have spent heavily on the innovation and research of different alternates of plastic. The steps taken by the executive bodies of the governments are supporting the corporate bodies as well as local development council to develop a promising plastic free environment. Many governments are also introducing the culture of using reusable plastic with an eco-friendly material coating inside to protect the food from the harmful effects of the plastic. Moreover, these governments are doing a great job and to form a partnership of the respective countries so that they can move forward with the aim of Plastic Free Environment.
Reference List and Bibliography
Atzori, R., Shapoval, V., & Murphy, K. S. (2018). Measuring Generation Y consumers' perceptions of green practices at Starbucks: An IPA analysis. Journal of Foodservice Business Research, 21(1), 1-21.
Dauvergne, P. (2018). The power of environmental norms: marine plastic pollution and the politics of microbeads. Environmental Politics, 27(4), 579-597.
Horodytska, O., Valdés, F. J., & Fullana, A. (2018). Plastic flexible films waste management–a state of art review. Waste Management.
Iwata, T. (2015). Biodegradable and bio?based polymers: future prospects of eco?friendly plastics. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 54(11), 3210-3215.
Kim, Y. (2017). Consumer responses to the food industry's proactive and passive environmental CSR, factoring in price as CSR tradeoff. Journal of business ethics, 140(2), 307-321.
Kishna, M. J., Niesten, E. M. M. I., Negro, S. O., & Hekkert, M. P. (2015). The role of strategic alliances in creating technology legitimacy: a study on the emerging field of bio-plastics. Innovation Studies Utrecht (ISU) Working Paper Series, 15(03), 1-20.
Kishna, M., Niesten, E., Negro, S., & Hekkert, M. P. (2017). The role of alliances in creating legitimacy of sustainable technologies: A study on the field of bio-plastics. Journal of Cleaner Production, 155, 7-16.
Prakash, G., & Pathak, P. (2017). Intention to buy eco-friendly packaged products among young consumers: A study on developing nation. Journal of cleaner production, 141, 385-393.
Tullo, A. H. (2018). Fighting ocean plastics at the source. Chemical & Engineering News, 96(16), 29-34.
Yeng, W. F., & Yazdanifard, R. (2015). Green marketing: A Study of Consumers Buying Behavior in Relation to Green Products. Global Journal of Management And Business Research.