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paper or plastic : is the plastic war a fair war ?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

It is delicate to say that a war is just or not, and this one no more than another one.

We saw these last months that several companies declared war to #plastic, is it the right strategy?


As Packaging expert, we know that #plastic ban is maybe not the best solution to reduce overall #waste.

I am wondering if we understand the whole picture and if we are not superseding one issue by a bigger one.

It seems that the previous bad perception about packaging we had in the past, moved to a bad perception about plastic especially. As everybody agrees now that packaging is necessary to protect goods and #reduce food waste.

But there is a misunderstanding and confusion between the cause and the consequences. Example:

there is plastic waste in #Ocean and there is no #paper waste in the ocean. So, we have to eliminate plastic to avoid ocean litter ….

Simple, but unwise. Why there is no paper material in the ocean is a better choice to find the answer.

According to me it is more about educating people about waste, how to dispose #packaging , having the right infrastructure and develop Marine #biodegradable plastic than just eliminating #plastic.

  • Plastics are performant, which high barrier, preserve food and avoid #foodwaste

  • Plastics are light and so doesn’t impact product weight during transport compared to other materials

  • Plastics are easy to recycle when there is the right infrastructure

  • Plastics are usually affordable in term of pricing vs other materials

  • Plastics can be bio-sourced with renewable materials

  • And may other positive points…

Of course, there are also some points to consider, choice of the chemicals, source of the polymers, product shelflife , education about plastic disposal and especially ocean litter that we shouldn’t underestimate.

The choice of the packaging material has to be done in a case per case in function of the use and product it protects. It doesn’t make sense to “kill” one type of material in these communication campaigns without rational elements from a comparative study per type of use, material and product.

Shouldn’t all stakeholders focus on #education , #recycling and #reuse find new polymers instead of eliminating "plastic"?

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