Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

As appeared on fairadvantage.blogspot.com

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This is an idea I am very happy to promote. I have been thinking about it for a while and I have just recently found the time to check out if similar solutions have been or are in the process of being adopted. Color coded waste. More than once I've caught myself being lazy in my recycling habits and that highlights my conviction that recycling must be easy and fast in order to really spread.
The private sector is investing more and more money into packaging, which is obviously a strong selling asset. New designs and new material are not always the most sustainable option. A recent survey of brand owners conducted by EskoArtwork, Adobe and the International Packaging Institute (IPI) found that:


Only 15% said that providing sustainable packaging solutions was critical to or already addressed in their businesses today. Key drivers for sustainable packaging identified by respondents included consumers (70%), regulations and legislation (64%) and retail requirements (57%). 84% thought that ‘environmental and sociological constraints’ would require ‘significant change’ (63%) or ‘new ways required’ (21%).


A website I have recently discovered (Global Green Laws - Part of Veggieglobal.com) describes the idea accurately:


a single, practical agreement, hammered out in half an hour, could establish a global code for waste disposal. For example; six different coloured rubbish bins. Organic waste (green). Glass (yellow). Paper (white). Metal (grey). Plastic (blue). Hazardous (for batteries etc.) (red). Complimented of course by the same code on all domestic and industrial packaging itself, which would display a coloured label relative to the bin it should be disposed into. Painfully simple.


I am well aware of the fact that color coded bins are widely available, but the key concept is that a clear and distinct color code on each part of the packaging would make different kind of waste very easy to distinguish (and therefore to dispose of) and would also significantly impact on the sales of responsible manufacturers, by making wasteful products extremely easy to detect (that is why I would suggest black for plastic).
A correct recycling education at school, but especially on TV (still the best medium to address large numbers of people) would complete the picture.

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