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Ditching plastic? Don’t just paper over the cracks…

As public awareness grows around the impact of plastics, it's important to ensure a switch to consumption of forest-based products is done so in a sustainable way. Credible forest and chain of custody certification, as offered by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) can help.

January 2019

As public awareness around the impact of plastics reaches new heights; businesses, organisations and the government itself have announced ways in which they will change and innovate to counter the tidal wave of waste.
In addition to reduction and reuse initiatives, moves away from plastic inevitably involve steps towards the customer-favoured renewable and recyclable materials: paper and cardboard . Wood is also increasingly the material of choice for items such as Marks and Spencer’s cutlery, which has replaced the 75 million pieces of plastic cutlery it gives out every year in its stores.

As this renaissance takes hold, it is important that organisations making the transition do so in a responsible manner. Switching from oil-based to forest-based products and packaging may seem like a positive move, yet if not implemented correctly it can actually have a negative impact on the environment.

If paper, card or wood fibre based products or packaging are not responsibly sourced they can contribute to deforestation; depleting the largest terrestrial store of atmospheric carbon on the planet.

Credible forest and chain of custody certification, as offered by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) can help businesses and consumers to choose wood, paper and other forest products, such as cork and bamboo, from well-managed forests and/or verified and recycled sources.

Certification not only ensures responsible procurement but can also be a valuable boon to customer engagement: 55% of UK consumers recognise the FSC logo and 75% would prefer products carrying the logo over those that do not.

Tallulah Chapman, Communications Manager, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) UK

Follow @TallulahFSC and @FSCUK

The opinions expressed in this blog are the author's and not necessarily those of the wider Link membership.

[i] A survey by Two Sides revealed a clear preference among UK consumers for paper and cardboard packaging. In 7 out of 11 categories, consumers stated that they preferred paper/cardboard over glass, metal and plastic packaging. Plastic was least favourite in all but one category.

[ii] Face-to face survey of 1102 UK adults (16 - 65+) commissioned by FSC UK and conducted by TNS (Fieldwork 31/01/2018 - 04/02/2018). 75% of respondents stated that they would prefer to choose a product bearing the FSC logo compared to an identical one without.