Martin Kubu CEO at Opticom Incite - Opticom Group

Will plastic pollution help save the planet? And sell more pulp?

Now here’s a challenging line of thought.

We know that polymer materials, commonly known as micro plastics, are literarily flooding our oceans, endangering numerous species. Almost all of these micro pieces of plastics come from discarded packaging; bags, cartons, bottles, trays, wraps, blisters, you name it. To make things worse, the absolute majority of these packaging stem from fossil oil. So, they don’t only kill fish, they contribute to climate change.

At the same time, we see a drastic increase in the global demand of packaging. Not least is this driven by booming online shopping, where packaged goods are orbiting Earth in an unseen logistic frenzy. A growing global economy is fuelling this trend, and so far there are no signs of any decline. What to do?

You need not be a scientist, an expert at an NGO or an advisor to governments to spot the two trends above. In fact, consumers already start to turn their back on plastic packaging, or at least an irresponsible use of them.

Chances are that well-spoken consumers, especially the environmentally concerned millennial generation (who shop online each and every day), will put a pressure on the packaging industry to find a better solution. Packaging made of materials that are renewable and recyclable with the lowest possible carbon footprint, maybe? Paper!

In the near future, we may well see smarter, lighter, more durable cellulose-based packaging for all sorts of goods. With all sorts of desirable properties.

This would not only be beneficial to wildlife and climate. It would also have an impact of the structure of the pulp and paper industry at large. Probably making it less cyclic, when paper based packaging becomes an integral part of consumers’ everyday life. Maybe even make the demand of pulp boom.

We see these trends, with all the new opportunities they offer for the forestry industry. And we’ll take an active role in this process of change. Because we help create value for companies around the world by transforming data and knowledge into strategic advice and efficient communication.

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