Plastics & Circularity: ‘Future of Packaging’ in The Times

New writing…. Pleased to say I have had another couple of articles published in The Times newspaper, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Packaging.

Ocean plastic is not a new problem, however it took David Attenborough and Blue Planet II to turn the tide of public opinion. My opening article investigates how prime-time endorsement of the core sustainability message proved a public gamechanger, but there is still a long way to go before we reach peak plastic in our waste streams. From high-street retail and global brands, to entrepreneurial start-ups and consumer activism, I am sharing smart insights of key influencers and seeking out sustainable solutions to the problems of a packaging sector under intense pressure. Issues are complex and commercial realities a challenge, but the question remains:

‘What next after Blue Planet?’

The first step towards fixing something is often to admit it is actually broken. Well, the plastics system is broken. So, since the problem is big, the fix must be even bigger, right? My second piece for the report explores how society must move away from the ‘take, make, dispose’ mindset that has long-informed linear consumption patterns and business models, towards a win-win scenario that simultaneously keeps plastics in the economy, but out of the environment. This discussion of proposals and prospects for the New Plastics Economy and UK Plastics Pact includes interviews with project leads at both the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP UK:

‘UK Plastics Pact is central to forming a circular economy’

The full 24-page Future of Packaging report is available to view/download here.

Sustainability & Waste: ‘Future of Packaging’ in The Times

New writing… Pleased to say I have had another couple of pieces published in The Times newspaper today, as part of a special Raconteur report on the Future of Packaging.

The Overview article which opens the report discusses whether sustainable packaging is ready yet to make the leap from niche to mainstream:

‘Resolving the Riddle of Sustainability’.

My second piece on Page 7 argues that tackling the number one problem of packaging waste demands upcycling the way wethink about the industry and the resource it produces :

‘Thinking outside the Burger Box’.

The full 16-page Future of Packaging report is available to view/download here.

Packaging: 5-a-Day Rant

So… Despite the fact my grapefruit already comes in a biodegradable protective skin all of its own, the supermarket has individually wrapped it in straight-to-landfill plastic for home delivery, complete with unwelcome news that the food has been treated with imzalil/thiabendazole/2-phenylphenol pyrimethanil E202 (potassium sorbate) and wax, as well as a warning that the bag should be kept away from babies and small children to avoid suffocation.

My healthy breakfast suddenly seems a lot less sustainable (never mind the fact it has come all the way from South Africa) – not perhaps my best work as an eco consumer?!

‘Future of Packaging’ in The Times

img_3250New writing… Pleased to say I have had a centrespread article for Raconteur published in The Times newspaper, exploring packaging market trends, plus, in particular, prospects for mainstreaming of sustainability:

‘Discovering a business case for sustainability’.

The full 16-page Future of Packaging report is available to view/download here.

Trillion-$ packaging, to rockin’ megaprojects + ocean clean-up

More of my journalism and blogging pieces have been published in the last few months and I have provided a brief update menu of articles below, with links to original copy.


The-circle-of-packaging-life-760x428Packaging a Trillion-Dollar Circle of Life

The packaging industry is moving into a circular economy of materials rotating in a sustainable loop of smart design, carbon-efficient manufacture, reuse and recycle.

Published in: ‘Future of Packaging’ Special Report, ‘The Times’‘  (30 Sep, 2015)

Olympic_park-760x428We’re Rockin’ All Over the World

Summary: With a grand heritage of Victorian engineering excellence, the UK leads the world in delivering modern-day megaprojects in a radical new way (includes case study for Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay).

Published in: ‘Project Management’ Special Report, ‘The Times’ (2 Aug, 2015)

Boyan_Slat-760x428The Great Ocean Clean-Up Project

Summary: Clearing plastic polluting the oceans is a problem of massive proportions requiring a professional project management approach – this piece looks at a current initiative exciting interest worldwide, spearheaded by teenage entrepreneur Boyan Slat.

Published in: ‘Project Management’ Special Report, ‘The Times’ (2 Aug, 2015)

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