How plastic packaging came to be a problem
Let’s face it. Today you probably used a hand lotion or shampoo that is packaged with plastic. Despite the alarming trend that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean, we seem to be numb to the use of plastic in our everyday products. Don’t get us wrong, plastic does have positive attributes: it is a strong, reusable, and cheap material. The issue is that plastic takes decades to decompose and companies commercialized plastic in everyday products that we use and throw away daily. That’s not what plastic was meant for.
Developed in the early 20th century, plastic was popularized during WWII when soldiers in combat needed blood transfusions to save them from bleeding out. This meant that gallons of donated blood needed to be transported over the Atlantic ocean in a material that would be durable, lightweight, and cheap to produce. Here comes plastic to the rescue! This became a blessing for chemical companies that produced plastic as there was a clear need for this material. However, now that WWII was over, would plastic die out? In fact, the party was just getting started for chemical companies as investors demanded more revenue sources from them.
Soon after WWII ended, consumerism became the norm in the ensuing years of economic prosperity, and the chemical companies saw a tremendous opportunity. Package everyday products with plastic! This meant that plastic would take over the glass industry as a way to store liquids and would help companies lower packaging costs. Not too bad! But wait a minute, people back then didn’t understand the consequences of making plastic available everywhere. Fast-forward a few decades later, and most countries still do not know how to deal with the plastic crisis, not to mention all the lobbying groups that chemical companies created to protect plastic, have not helped the cause.
However, we are very optimistic! In the coming wave to rid of plastics for packaging, companies will use their creativity to deliver new and exciting ways to deliver their products to their costumers plastic free! It will take a few decades, but the wave has started and is growing. As a mission-based company, Urbanized is part of this new wave, providing eco-friendly products with plastic-free packaging. We strive to create a sustainable future for our towns and cities and plastic-free packaging is just the start!