Reducing Plastic Pollution and Embracing Sustainability: Insights from Apple's September Event and Plastic Free July

Alfred Tang

Alfred Tang

Dec 15, 20234 min read


Reducing Plastic Pollution and Embracing Sustainability: Insights from Apple's September Event and Plastic Free July

In recent years, there has been a growing global concern about the environmental impact of plastic pollution. Both individuals and corporations are taking steps to address this issue and find innovative solutions. Two notable events that shed light on this topic are Apple's September event in 2023 and Plastic Free July. By examining the key takeaways from these events, we can gain valuable insights into how design and sustainability can work hand in hand to reduce plastic pollution.

At the Apple September event, one of the highlights was the introduction of a new microtwill material for their products. This microtwill is made of 68 percent post-consumer recycled content, resulting in significantly lower carbon emissions. This move by Apple showcases their commitment to sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint. By incorporating recycled materials into their products, Apple is not only minimizing waste but also setting an example for other companies to follow.

On the other hand, Plastic Free July is an annual initiative that encourages individuals to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics. One of the key aspects highlighted during this event was the importance of design in tackling plastic pollution. Sprite, a popular beverage brand, made a significant change by transitioning their bottles from green to clear. This seemingly subtle design alteration was aimed at improving the quality of the recycled material produced from their bottles. By doing so, Sprite is taking a proactive approach to ensure that their plastic waste can be effectively recycled and reused.

While Apple's September event and Plastic Free July may seem unrelated at first glance, they both emphasize the need for sustainable design solutions. By finding common points between these events, we can draw valuable insights and create a more holistic approach to tackling plastic pollution.

One common thread that connects these events is the urgency of the plastic pollution crisis. According to a study, the annual flow of plastic into the ocean is projected to nearly triple by 2040, reaching a staggering 29 million tonnes per year. This alarming statistic calls for immediate action from individuals, corporations, and governments alike. Both Apple and Sprite are taking steps to address this crisis through innovative design choices that prioritize recycling and reducing carbon emissions.

Another common point is the importance of incorporating recycled materials into product design. Apple's microtwill material, made from post-consumer recycled content, showcases the viability and effectiveness of using recycled materials in the manufacturing process. By doing so, not only are they reducing the demand for new resources but also diverting waste from landfills. This sustainable approach not only benefits the environment but also resonates with consumers who prioritize eco-friendly products.

Similarly, Sprite's decision to transition their bottles from green to clear demonstrates the significance of design in the recycling process. Clear bottles are easier to sort and process, resulting in higher-quality recycled material. By making this simple design change, Sprite is contributing to the circular economy and ensuring that their plastic waste can be effectively repurposed. This serves as a valuable lesson for other companies to consider the design implications of their packaging to facilitate recycling.

To address plastic pollution and embrace sustainability, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Emphasize the use of recycled materials: Whether you are a consumer or a business owner, consider opting for products made from recycled materials. By supporting companies that prioritize recycling, you are indirectly reducing the demand for new resources and encouraging a circular economy.
  • 2. Evaluate your packaging design: If you are a business owner, take a critical look at your packaging design. Consider making changes that facilitate recycling, such as using clear materials or reducing unnecessary layers. Small design alterations can have a significant impact on the recyclability of your products.
  • 3. Support initiatives and events focused on sustainability: Participate in events like Plastic Free July and stay informed about sustainability-focused initiatives. By actively engaging in these events, you can raise awareness, learn from others, and contribute to the collective effort in reducing plastic pollution.

In conclusion, the insights gained from Apple's September event and Plastic Free July highlight the importance of sustainable design in mitigating plastic pollution. By incorporating recycled materials and making thoughtful design choices, we can create a more sustainable future. Let us all take action, support eco-friendly initiatives, and embrace sustainable design practices to protect our planet for generations to come.

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