Categories ArchivesCircular Economy

Changing our attitude to plastic standard

by Natalie Martin, 3R Materials Innovation Manager Plastic gets a bad rep; the big bad villain that is slowly choking the world. Its effects on the environment are undeniable, but plastic didn’t put itself in the oceans for turtles to eat, or in the forests to smother wildlife. That dubious honour goes to us humans. We are the ones who invented something which is cheap to make, durable and very long lasting, but then started using it everywhere with limited thought around its disposal. As discussed in my previous article, there are many different types of plastic – all with different properties and applications. But the trifecta of “cheap, durable and long lasting” is generally true for them all. The ...

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The plural of plastic standard

by Natalie Martin, 3R Material Innovation Manager Plastic is a hot topic around the world these days, and so it should be. The terrible effects it has on the environment are undeniable, and there is evidence those effects are circling back to us. Plastic has also become something of the posterchild for society’s conspicuous over-consumption. But is plastic all bad? The short answer is actually, no. Plastic – first developed by British inventor Alexander Parkes in the early 1860s – was hailed as something of a miracle substance. Light, durable, easy to sterilise, cheap to make – the list of positive properties is impressive. Without plastic the world would be a very different place than it is today – simply ...

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3R Sustainable Development Report 2017-2018 standard

Something we are passionate about at 3R is helping other businesses on their sustainability journey. Just like with any other part of your business it’s important to take a step back and evaluate where you are, where you have come from, where you want to go, and critically, why you are doing what you do. We believe a a Sustainable Development Report (SDR) is an excellent way to do just that, and is something we have been undertaking for the past three years. Our latest SDR (for the 2017-2018 financial year) is now ready. We encourage you to not only have a read of it, but to seriously consider doing one yourself. As always, if you want to connect and ...

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Single-use plastic; are we missing the point? standard

by Darren Patterson Single-use plastics. I want to start with that phrase, but I’ll leave it for now and I’ll come back to it later. I was shopping at one of my local supermarkets, one of those which has committed to eliminating single-use plastic bags, and I noticed that, whilst they still had their plastic bags for those that had not brought their own, there were also crisp, new, heavy-duty paper bags. Bags, I assume, that customers could use if they could not face the shame of using a plastic bag and wanted to feel they were doing their bit for the environment. And that brings me back to the start. Single-use plastics. All too often when we use that ...

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A circular future with stewardship at the centre standard

by Adele Rose, 3R Chief Executive Mention the term ‘product stewardship’ to the first person you bump into on the street and chances are you will be met with a blank look. The truth is, it’s not a widely known concept in New Zealand. It also is and isn’t a simple one either. Suggest that manufacturers and retailers should take responsibility for the products they make and sell throughout the lifetime of those products (the definition of product stewardship), and the blank look will probably turn into a puzzled one. MORE MEDIA: Read this story and more in the August edition of Revolve magazine Fast-forward to the year 2050 and this will be a different story. The terms ‘sustainably produced’, ...

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Taking a stand on climate change standard

3R Group has signed up to the Climate Leaders Coalition, joining a group of businesses dedicated to “forging a path to create a future that is low-emission, positive for our businesses and economy, and inclusive for all New Zealanders”. (CEO Climate Change Statement) This commits us to: measure our greenhouse gas emissions and publicly report on them set a public emissions reduction target consistent with keeping within 2° of warming work with our suppliers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions Even though we are only a small business with a turnover of less than $5M pa and 26 staff working nationally we believe our role is to lead the way for other SMEs. While we are among giants of industry, ...

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