Can you remember what the most recent item you bought was packaged in? Chances are high that the answer to this question is plastic. Paul Tasner of PulpWorks aims to change this answer, after years in the consumer product goods industry at large corporations like Clorox.
“There’s a world of packaging out there that doesn’t have to be in plastic. Literally billions of items,” said Tasner. A study done by marine research group Algalita showed that, on average, Americans discard about 185 pounds of plastic per year. If that statistic is correct, it means that every year I am throwing away (approximately)1.3x my own weight in plastic. I sure hope this is not true; I consider myself environmentally conscious. I recycle, compost, rarely drive, eat local produce [insert stereotypical San Francisco joke]. However, I do still consume goods packaged in plastic, including my morning cereal. Our current consumer packaged goods industry is inextricably linked to plastic production by chemical companies. If we decrease the demand for this, we encourage alternative solutions that are less harmful to our personal health and that of our planet.
“Someone once asked, why would I want to use your stuff?” Tasner recalled. “And I said because you’re going to be extremely embarrassed when your competitor gets a market advantage because they’re so eco-conscious, and your boss finds out that we were here and you turned us down.” Keep these things in mind and vote with your dollars -- because it will impact the planet we hand down to the next generation.