2018, a step towards a greener future?

15th January 2019 Posted by

Posted by SUEZ recycling and recovery UK.

2018, the year sustainability, recycling and waste continuously hit the headlines, many of us as individual and also businesses realised the impact that we have on our planet and how this needs to change to protect our resources of the future.

There were many influencers in the industry bringing the planet top of mind for us, the first name that springs to mind is Sir David Attenborough with the launch of Blue Planet II…

The Blue planet effect

BBC’s Blue Planet II that was narrated by Sir David Attenborough, exposed the damage plastics are causing in our oceans and to marine life. Blue Planet II aired on the BBC following the popular documentary Hugh’s War on Waste, the series that highlighted the issues of coffee cups that cannot be recycled; vegetables grown by farmers, but rejected by supermarkets; and excessive product packaging from producers and retailers.

Naturally, this struck a chord with us as individuals to become environmentally savvy when it comes to our purchasing habits, making us think twice before using a plastic bag, buying a plastic drinks bottle or stopping for takeaway cup of coffee. Many of us were encouraged to buy and use a reusable coffee cup and remember to carry a refillable water bottle in our efforts to reduce single-use plastics and non-recyclable materials in our everyday lives.

Ocean plastic pollution

The awareness of plastics in the ocean also inspired communities to come together at waterways and beaches to clean-up our shorelines and remove any washed up or discarded wastes. The #SUEZ4ocean initiative alone has recorded 15.5 tonnes of waste being collected by over 1,650 ocean guardians that have volunteered.

Big change for big business

The UK Plastics PactIt is not just us as individuals that have started to make changes for the future. In April 2018, more than 40 organisations including large producers and retailers signed up to the UK’s ‘Plastics Pact’. This initiative will create a circular economy for plastics by bringing together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste.

This pledge means that by 2025 all their plastic packaging will be able to be reused, recycled or composted.

‘Single-use’ – word of the year 2018

This rise in environmental awareness was noted by Collins Dictionary, who named ‘single-use’ as 2018’s word of the year. The term is referring to products made to be used only once – commonly plastics – before being thrown away.


The word is now used four-times as often than in 2013. Did you know that ‘plogging’ also made the shortlist, a new word coined to describe the activity of collecting waste whilst out jogging. Well, with new products and initiatives popping up at all times it is difficult to turn a blind eye to our planets future. What will you do this year to help make the small changes to influence the environment around us?

Keep an eye out for our upcoming blog series of how to make little changes to improve our impact on our planet, and it all starts in our homes!

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