Beyond plastic: the politics of packaging ('Insights' series 4 - episode 5)
Play • 25 min

Our head of resources Libby Peake spends a lot of time thinking about plastic. But she also knows that – we need to be thinking about more than just plastic.

Everyone knows that the world has a problem with plastic pollution. People are right to be concerned and demand that we protect ecosystems and human and animal health from what has been described as a “global scourge”.

But in searching for solutions we surely don’t want to store up future problems.

There is a cautionary tale from the invention of plastic itself. Plastic was invented to avert an environmental catastrophe – the extinction of the elephants. 

Despite this, we haven’t learned the lessons. That we shouldn’t be trying to find a simple substitute for a material that is being used at unsustainable levels. 

To consider this and more, Libby spoke with Paula Chin, sustainable materials specialist at WWF and chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link resources and waste group, about the impact of packaging and how to move towards the sustainable use of materials.


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