DS Smith Plastics has joined a group of companies concerned with the plastic waste challenge to sponsor the European Facebook Page Are You R. The goal of the initiative is to educate the public on the importance of recycling plastics. Focused themes within this campaign include identifying ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfills and oceans by promoting reusability, available collection systems, and their recyclability at the end of their useful life.
DS Smith Plastics understands the benefits and is at the forefront as a manufacturer of reusable packaging to reduce the consumption of energy and resources required to recycle and reproduce single-use packaging. Their mission and objective include educating the public and other companies in the importance of choosing reusable over single-use products to save in energy and resources.
Increasing the use of returnable products and ensuring their proper use and disposal is a natural disruption of existing business models. To detour plastics from landfills and oceans will require the majority of the public to adopt the new model. To be successful, plastic manufacturers and other organizations need to invest in educating consumers, in developing products and programs that facilitate and incentivize the collection of reusable products, and in increasing the number of collection systems.
It is estimated that only 14% of plastics packaging is recycled. Thirty percent of the remaining 86% is contaminated plastics that could generate $80bn-$120bn in revenue if new ways are developed to breakdown, recycle and reuse them . The remaining 70% could be collected, recycled and re-purposed into new products, while utilizing 30% less energy and resources in the process .
DS Smith Plastics has been investing in finding markets where plastics properties of strength and durability are paramount for their applications. As a result, DS Smith Plastics’ offering currently includes: Products made from 100% post-consumer plastics, products with recycled-plastics content, mobile regrinding stations, buy-back programs and collection of used plastic at various European sites.
DS Smith Plastics is proud to join projects, such as the Are You R initiative, that are dedicated to raising public awareness in the importance of recycling plastics and collection systems. As important as it is to help clean our oceans from polluted plastics, preventing all polymers from getting into our oceans should be the paramount priority.
The Facebook page Are You R is the officially supported by Crain and Plastics Recyclers Europe. PRE supports the transition towards a circular economy and aims to harmonize the recycling standards across Europe. Today more than 120 companies across Europe are a part of PRE. Are You R’s visibility and the communication around it goes beyond Facebook. The campaign was promoted in magazines and during industry-specific events.
 McArthur, E. 2016. ‘The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics’. Ellen McArthur Foundation Publications Report. Retrieved 10 April 2019 from https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications/the-new-plastics-economy-rethinking-the-future-of-plastics
 Leblanc R. 2018. ‘Recycling Facts and Figures.’ Sustainable Businesses. Retrieved 10 April, 2019 from https://www.thebalancesmb.com/recycling-facts-and-figures-2878049