It is no secret that sustainability has become a buzzword. From the fashion industry to the food industry, companies are constantly striving to be more ‘sustainable’. At Better Packaging Co. we’re not ditching ‘sustainability’ because it’s gone mainstream, we’re saying sayonara because it is simply not enough.
To truly begin to undo the damage mankind has done to the environment, we need to go beyond sustainability and adopt a regenerative approach instead.
Sustainable actions focus on conserving resources and preventing further damage to the environment, whereas regeneration seeks to improve and restore them. Both of these approaches are important and necessary to ensure the long-term health of our planet and its people, but they are not necessarily interchangeable.
Regenerative practices focus on restoring resources and ecosystems back to their natural state and are vital for the long term health of our planet.
By adopting a regenerative approach, we can also help to build a world that is naturally more resilient to the effects of climate change. Regenerative agriculture, for example, can help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, improve soil health and increase biodiversity. Composting food waste and then reintroducing those nutrients to the depleted soil is a great example of regeneration. There are also groups (like our #BetterFriends Coral Gardeners) working tirelessly to restore coral reefs to revive reef ecosystems.
Regeneration means removing pollutants, eliminating invasive species, reforestation and replanting natives and is especially important in areas that have been damaged or compromised by human activity, such as clear-cut logging or unsustainable farming. In fact, ‘Project Drawdown’ published a global analysis of exactly which climate “solutions” had the best chance of slowing global warming and demonstrated Bamboo planting to be one of the best ways to regenerate degraded land (abandoned farms, landfills, old mining sites and the like) and also create highly efficient carbon sinks at the same time.
Regeneration can also apply to communities whose social fabric has been eroded by commercialisation or whose livelihoods have been negatively impacted by factors like climate change or pollution. They too can be restored or supported to become more resilient to the pressures of the modern world.
By taking regenerative actions, these ecosystems and communities can be restored to a healthier, more diverse state. An example of this is the practice of agroforestry, which combines traditional farming techniques with forest conservation, allowing for the restoration of natural habitats and the creation of more diverse, productive agricultural systems.
Put simply, regeneration makes things better, and that’s what we’re all about because quite frankly, the planet deserves Better.
If tomorrow, the world stopped producing any more new (virgin) plastic that would be an awesome thing (hallelujah!!). It would be a sustainable thing because it would mean the world is not becoming burdened with any more plastic. However it would not solve the issue of what to do with all the plastic currently in the world.
Our world first, award-winning POLLAST!C range is a great example of how it is possible to create a commercial incentive for regeneration. POLLAST!C packaging is made from recycled plastic pollution rescued from the environment to prevent it from making its way into the ocean. By making something out of pollution, we put a value on its collection – it makes it worthwhile for people to clean it up. And by cleaning it up we improve the quality of these coastal communities, many of which are reliant on the ocean for their livelihoods. We also improve the ability of the ocean to act as a carbon sink because when plastic enters the ocean and inevitably becomes microplastics, it can’t sequester carbon dioxide as well.
That’s why we're proud to say we’re not a sustainable packaging company any more, we’re a regenerative one instead!