【Climate Innovation Stories】Round sticker on plastic bottles: A warning on the impact of plastic


Writer: Sing

While buying food items wrapped around with plastic, have you ever consider how long it will take plastic to be completely disintegrated? More than 300 years, as studies show before they decompose entirely into soil or ocean. Some plastic bags may even take over 1000 years to decompose. Despite the effort made by environmental organisations and individuals, there are no significant changes in decreasing plastics use. Britain is one of the countries with an increase in the amount of non-recyclable plastics being sold.

To alarm people of the adverse impact of plastic on the environment, a group of students in Britain formed a team and started on a project where they stick tiny stickers with a big message - the “Plastic Expiry Date,” onto food packagings such as bottled drinks and meal deals in supermarket aisles. These stickers are being secretly stuck and act as a mock towards “best before” dates of foods inside these wrapped plastics. The team has since caught the eye of customers and picked up by media outlets to spread awareness.

Gags and Joe, the pair that first initiated this project, explained the meaning behind their action in an interview.

“We noticed how easy to buy single-use plastic; a walk down the meal deal aisle makes it impossible to avoid. The sticker was an attempt to call out supermarkets on their own turf while also helping people to think about their short-term lunch decisions in the long-term.”

As the Chinese idiom indicates,“There are always more solutions than difficulties.”Though it appears to have no way around packaging food without plastics, there are always substitutions for packaging materials. To name a few, they can repackage foods with materials like cornstarch or sugarcane fibre. These materials are all proved to be renewable, recyclable and sustainable, effectively alleviate the impact of food packaging material on the environment.