News & events


Why a self-made claim about plastics is no longer enough

Since the BBC aired Blue Planet 2 in 2017, the conversation around the use of plastics has continued to hit the headlines with increasing regularity and is of growing concern to consumers and governments alike. The UN Environment Programme estimates that plastics constitute “as much as 95 percent of the marine litter found on coastlines, the sea surface, and the ocean floor”. And when it comes to plastics it is packaging which is the biggest culprit, with the UK alone producing over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging every year. Given the gravity of the global plastics crisis, businesses can no longer assume that unsubstantiated claims, pledges, or pacts around their use of plastic will be enough to secure the public’s trust in their brand. Now more than ever they need to prove the ways in which they are cutting the use of plastic and adopting alternative, compostable, materials through a robust certification process.

Research by YouGov suggests plastic usage in food packaging is the top concern amongst consumers when it comes to food production. The research suggests that 8 in 10 are trying to cut down on the amount of packaging they buy, and half would be willing to pay more for eco-friendly packaging. And so, when it comes to public trust and brand image, Brandwatch rightly discuss how photographs which show discarded brand packaging leave a damaging legacy… (and) isn’t the way that brand managers tend to want their logos appearing on the internet”.

Furthermore this plastics crisis is permeating discussions across local, national, and international levels of government, with bans, reduction plans and charges being three popular policy tools. For both consumers and businesses, this is where the importance of independent certification comes into play.

At Control Union UK, we have a broad array of plastic related certification and verification schemes, which companies of all size and from all sectors can engage with in order to reduce their plastic impact, meet regulations and secure the public’s trust for the long term. These schemes are:

  • Plastic Free certifies that end products, packaging and materials contain 0% plastic.
  • Ocean Bound Plastic is designed to encourage the removal of ocean bound plastic from the environment by adding value in effectively collecting and treating it before it reaches oceans.
  • Global Recycle Standard is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of recycled content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions
  • Recycled Claim Standard has 100% and Blended versions, these standards track recycled raw material through a supply chain to verify its presence in a final product.
  • ISCC Plus is focused on recycled plastics and bio-based materials. It assists businesses in their transition towards a circular plastics economy.
  • Verra Plastic Waste Reduction Standard aims to support and scale up activities that increase plastic waste recycling and/or collection from the environment
  • RecyClass aims to improve plastic recycling by developing a reliable methodology to calculate and verify the recycled content in plastic products

Find out more by watching our webinar which was recorded from the live event on 10th May.

This website uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By continuing to use this website you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy