DQ: How the opposing motives between environmentalists and companies over the use of plastic packaging be resolved?
Conflict is composed of opposing forces. Plastic packaging is harmful for the environment:
Plastics packaging can create huge amounts of landfills.
According to an article published in Sciencing, the author, G.D Palmer, states “Packaging is responsible for significant portions of the waste stream. According to the Ashland Food Cooperative, packaging is responsible for about one third of the municipal waste in the United States. Some waste can be recycled, but many materials are not appropriate for recycling.”
Plastic packaging can affect sea creatures.
In the article, Plastic Pollution Challenges in Marine and Coastal Environments, by Joanna Vince, she states, “An estimated 6–12 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans each year.” Plastic packaging can harm the environment.
In the article, “The Disadvantages of Packaging,” the author states, “ Over 10 million barrels [of oil] are used to make water bottles, and one pound of polystyrene (Styrofoam) uses about two pounds of petroleum stock.” Therefore, using that much oil just to produce plastic packaging that gets thrown away and cannot bio-degrade not only pollutes our land, but also our air, and adds to the fossil fuels that affects global warming.
Factories use to much plastic that later on affect our environment and our oceans. According to Joanna Vince, she states, “Litter found in the coastal and marine environment ranges from macro debris such as large industrial containers, plastic bags, drink containers, cigarette butts, and plastic fragments, to small micro debris including manufactured plastic pellets and microbeads from consumer items”.
The opposing side is that plastic packaging is vital for companies to use for their businesses:
People purchase goods that have plastic packaging.
Plastics protect products from damage
In the article, What are the benefits in Plastic Packaging, the author states,” It's important to marketers that customers receive their products in undamaged containers, so that customers experience the care and consideration companies put into planning the packaging they use to hold and ship products”.
Plastic packaging helps companies get good ratings on their design of the plastic and quality, as well as increase their profits.
According to Miranda Brookins, she states, “The visual presentation of product packaging helps attract consumers and persuade them to pick up a product, learn what it's used for and determine if the product will add value to their lives. Packaging design is heavily dependent on the company's target market”.
An article by Miranda Brookins, she states, “Product packaging features the branding elements companies work hard to keep consistent, such as logos, product characters and taglines. Branding elements help consumers instantly recognize products on shelves and in advertising”
Conflict may be natural or man-made. The conflict of plastic packaging is a man-made problem:
Factories need to use plastic packaging so they can earn better ratings and profits. They may use plastic to protect their items from any damage when being shipped to different destinations, but they want to be recognized for their quality. Factories want to gain more profits based on their design of packaging, logo, or quality that they work for.
In the article, What are the Environmental Impacts of Product Packaging, Stewart Flaherty states, “Such waste almost always ends up in landfills. Much of the waste found in landfills is packaging waste.”
Man-made: Factories try hard to make their packaging exceed so they can earn better ratings and profits. They may use plastic to protect their items form any damage when being shipped across, but they want to be recognized for their quality. The factories have many perspectives towards because some know that plastic affects our environment.
Plastic packaging creates a conflict for the natural environment:
Plastic soon leads to air pollution in water,air, landfill concerns, or medical concerns.
According to Joanna Vince, she states, “Plastic pollution in the marine and coastal environment is a challenging restoration and governance issue. Similar to many environmental problems, marine plastic pollution is transboundary and therefore the governance solutions are complex.”
In the article, Plastic pollution challenges in marine and coastal environments, the author states, “Although the marine environment is unlikely to return to the condition it was in before the “plastic era,” it is an example of an environmental restoration challenge where successful governance and environmental stewardship would likely result in a healthier global oceanic ecosystem.”
In our student-led research, one of our survey questions that we asked was why do they think companies try to package their items. Many students strongly agreed that factories that use plastic want to prevent their products from any damage. Other students also agreed that factories also use plastic to have better looking product so people can buy them.
Conflict may be intentional or unintentional. The conflict of plastic packaging is both intentional and unintentional.
Some factories use plastic and spend most of their time on the design and the profits they will gain.
Another article titled, Plastic Packaging: Breaking down environmental impacts, by Emily Tipaldo, she states, “ Our industry continues to innovate and contribute to improved packaging sustainability, by things like, designing bottles that allow for shipping efficiency, down gauging rigid plastic containers, switching to one piece caps and closures”.
Factories that use plastic do not intend to harm our environment. They intend to make a profit.
Many people that use plastic products don't know the consequences that will affect our environment.
According to Alexander H. Tullo, he states, “The plastic bag industry, not surprisingly, seeks to preserve its hard-won business and sees the attack on bags as part of a broader assault on all plastics. They further argue that the bags are more sanitary and more environmentally benign than the alternatives.”
Another Article by Emily Tipaldo, she states, “ Our industry continues to innovate and contribute to improved packaging sustainability, by things like, designing bottles that allow for shipping efficiency, down gauging rigid plastic containers, switching to one piece caps and closures, and, producing resource efficient multilayer flexible pouches”.
In our survey we asked student two different questions: One question that we asked was whether they bought a plastic bag, used their own recycled bag , used their own reusable canvas bag, or carried their items in their arms. More students responded that they used their own reusable canvas bag. The other question that we asked was whether they would buy an item that is better packaged with a higher price or an item that is poorly packaged with a lower price. Many students perfred to buy an item that is poorly packaged with a lower price.
Conflict may allow for synthesis and change.
Changes that have been made regarding plastic packaging over time:
Companies are trying to improve their system of plastic by making compostable bags and reusable bags.
In the article, Breaking the Plastic Bag Habit, the author states, “And plastic bag manufacturers are now casting aspersions on reusable bags.As the statistic trading and legal sparring raged, new ordinances in California moved away from strict bans on bags”.
Environmentalist are trying to resolve this conflict by doing beach clean up and other environmental helpings such as recycling and less plastic usage
Many factors have converged to create the problem of plastic packaging:
Companies that use plastic spend to much time designing and money.
People in our society litter and don't recycle.
According to Alexander H. Tullo, he states, “One idle day found him clearing his yard of debris and heading to the local landfill to dispose of it. He was dismayed by what he saw. Plastic shopping bags were everywhere, stuffed with garbage, getting picked at by birds”.
In an article by Miranda Brookins, she states, “Packaging is such an essential part of the marketing process, companies spend a considerable amount of time and money planning and designing it”.
Many solutions must converge to solve the problem of plastic packaging:
Companies are making more compostable bags and recyclable bags as well.
Environmentalists are volunteering in their neighborhood. They are recycling and doing clean up.
According to Stewart Flaherty, he states, “ Although it is not mandatory, many companies are voluntarily reducing their packaging. By 2012, Dell aims to reduce its packaging material by 20 million pounds”
Conflict is progressive.
What plastic packaging looks like today:
Plastic still being found out in streets and oceans.
Recorded last year, they estimated that eight million metric tons of plastic was in the ocean. According to Plastic Pollution Challenges in Marine and Coastal Environments: From Local to Global Governance by Joanna Vince it states, “An estimated 6-12 million metric tons enters the ocean each year (Jam beck et al. 2015).”
This conflict affects the current world we live in today, by polluting our environment and making it go to the oceans. With the technology that we have specialist have found a way to make bioplastics which are environment friendly
Language of the Discipline
Plastic packaging-any one of a large number of synthetic usually organic materials that have a polymeric structure and can be moulded when soft and then set, esp. such a material in a finished state containing plasticizer, stabilizer, filler, pigments, etc. Plastics are classified as thermosetting (such as Bakelite) or thermoplastic (such as PVC) and are used in the manufacture of many articles and in coatings, artificial fibres, etc. Biopolymers- (Bioplastics) are plastics that can be produced from renewable materials, including sugar, corn, soy, hemp, and captured methane from waste. Pyrogenesis-is a way of removing waste of navy ships that are out in the ocean. It is the destruction of combustible waste with the use of a plasma torch. It changes the molecular structure of what is put in it. Microplastics-extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste. Nurdles- a very small pellet of plastic that serves as raw material in the manufacture of plastic products.
Global- Plastic packaging happens globally
Environmentalist and companies that make bioplastics are reducing the problem by making environment friendly plastics out of sugar, soy, hemp, and methane from waste. According to the Plastic Industry, their goals are, “Educating the plastics industry, federal, state and local governments, and the value chain, Articulating clear and consistent descriptions of the different bioplastics options, Providing strategic advice to the plastics industry, federal, state and local governments, and the value chain and promote harmonization of environmental policies, and Establishing itself as the “go to” source for information about the bioplastics industry.”
Community- Plastic packaging happens in the community
In our community stores have not been giving plastic bags and have been selling bioplastic bags as a resolution to stop using plastic. Environmentalist support the idea of using bioplastics to help out the environment.
Personal- Plastic packaging happens
In my personal life we took it into consideration to stop using plastic bags and have environmental friendly bags. Bioplastic companies enforce that we do that so it can keep the environment as sanitary as possible.