June 30, 2023 · You Oughta Know

Sustainable Good

Sustainable Use

When I was a kid in the 1980s, plastics weren’t as prevalent as they are now. Sure, I had a plastic Speak-n-Spell and He-Man toys, but plastic disposables weren’t really a thing. I remember the weekly trips to Goodrich to return the empty milk jugs and purchase another week’s supply of milk. I loved trips to Cornhusker Beverage, where we’d choose from 24 different colors and flavors of Goody Pop in returnable bottles.

In the past 30 years, reusables have been largely phased out and single-use plastic containers, specifically plastic grocery bags, have become the number one leading cause of pollution in the world, according to the EPA. Five trillion plastic bags are manufactured every year, creating more than 300 million tons of toxic plastic waste annually according to the UN Environment Program.

But as we look around, we see that once again, change is afoot. Awareness is growing, causing a shift away from single-use plastics as alternatives emerge; reusables are having a renaissance, and it’s easy to get on board.

Increasing Awareness

We’re all aware of the three R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, but now there’s a fourth R, Remember. Stores like Aldi underscore the importance of remembering our reusable bags every time we hit the checkout line, while TV ads by the World Wildlife Fund share the heartbreaking story of sea turtles’ dwindling numbers due to plastic bag consumption (mistaking them for jellyfish).

Making Less Trash

These messages are getting through and spurning change. In the U.S. (the world’s leading offender in plastic bag waste), 10 states have already banned single-use plastic bags, crafting restrictions based on the thickness of the plastic or stitched handles to encourage sturdier construction and reuse. Worldwide, an astounding 127 countries have banned or restricted use of plastic bags!

Finding Alternatives

We, here at Bergman, are also doing our part by using and promoting reusable bags, water bottles, and packaging. This doesn’t work unless these are products you and your audience will want to use again and again. We are a big advocate for recycling and post-recycled products. These are simple choices that you can make too; our sales managers are ready to help you. Check out some of these items we’ve helped our clients use to make an impression while making a difference.

  • A CamelBak water bottle made of 50% recycled plastic
  • An Adidas polo made from 100% recycled polyester
  • A 100% recycled raincoat from The North Face
  • A grocery tote bag made from 100% recycled cotton
  • Another made from recycled plastic bags
  • A dishwasher-safe coffee cup made of 50% recycled coffee grounds

We’re the experts, lean on us!