Plastic Free July | A Different Solution to a Growing Problem
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. This is indeed a very large, earth-destroying problem that is wreaking havoc on land and ocean eco systems globally. In 2021, it was reported that there were 5.2 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic in our ocean and 46,000 pieces in every square mile of ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes (source). This is only set to get worse: globally, we produce 381 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, set to double by 2034. Only 9% of this has ever been recycled, and 50% of this is single-use plastic.
At Techbuyer, we are committed to being part of the solution, not part of the problem. This is why we have embarked on a number of plastic-reducing initiatives to help minimise the impact of plastic on our planet.
3D Printing for a Sustainable Future
We have an in-house 3D printing shop which we use to solve problems and aid difficult repairs. We make parts to replace broken ones that are difficult to source and make custom tools that allow us to perform more specialised repairs.
3D printers have enabled us to complete even more in-house repairs. By repairing IT hardware, we can extend its lifespan and avoid it going to recycling (where a large percentage of its material composition will be lost), or even worse going to landfill where valuable materials will be wasted, and dangerous toxic chemicals will be left to pollute the earth.
By doing in-house repairs, we have control over the environmental impact of the materials we use. For example, sourcing CPU covers, CPU trays and covers for connectors on blade servers from third-party suppliers made from traditional plastics can be expensive and detrimental to the environment. By making these things ourselves, we have full autonomy over our environmental impact.
In order to remain consistent with our sustainable ethos, we use predominately PLA plastics, which are derived from mostly plants and biodegradables (under specific conditions). Regular plastic is made from crude oil which is a finite resource that requires extensive and environmentally costing drilling practices to extract. PLA, on the other hand, is made from plants, which can be grown year on year. The carbon emissions associated with PLA production are also 80% lower than that of traditional plastics. In addition, whereas traditional plastics can take centuries to decompose and pollute the earth with microplastics, PLA can be recycled and is also biodegradable under specific conditions.
Innovative Packaging Solutions
Packaging is one of the largest sources of plastic pollution; approximately 36% of all plastics produced are used in packaging, and we produce 141 million tonnes of plastic packaging yearly and around a third of this leaks from collection solutions into the environment. Because of this, we are committed to finding a sustainable solution to our packaging methods and preventing as much as possible from our business ending up in landfill or oceans.
We had been looking for the perfect, low-plastic, recyclable packaging solution that offers high-quality protection for many years. The nature of our products often means that, without protection, they can be damaged when transported. Therefore, when we worked with Direct Foam and Packaging to develop a new form of sustainable packaging, it had to provide consistent and effective protection to our products.
We developed Eco Strata™ to reduce the use of plastic within our packaging whilst ensuring that our products reached our customers safely. Eco Strata is composed of 70% recycled plastic and is completely recyclable. This means that our customers can recycle any packaging used to protect their purchase during transit.
Each sheet used contains 97 converted plastic bottles that may have otherwise ended up in landfill or oceans meaning that the benefits expand beyond simply offering recyclable packaging; it helps clean up our oceans and recycle the waste we produce.
Eco Strata combined two of our key business goals: sustainable development and customer satisfaction. It is an environmentally friendly solution to improving the packaging industry and preventing plastic harm in our environment.
Creating a Different Solution to the Problem
Plastic is a versatile and useful material that took the world by storm since its invention in 1907. It has grown in use a decade after decade to become one of the most prominent materials in use globally. Its usefulness is obvious; however, so are its destructive capabilities and effects.
We are determined to find sustainable solutions to plastic consumption for our business. We recognise the value of plastic and its place within our society, but there is an urgent need to change our habits and come up with different solutions to the growing problem.
Our sustainable packaging and 3D printing are two such solutions. Solving the problem is reliant upon the innovation of new ideas and adapting our habits to a more sustainable model.
Read more about this in our latest blog about the challenge of plastic packaging.
Techbuyer’s Sustainable IT Solutions
Techbuyer is a global provider of sustainable IT solutions for the procurement, maintenance and disposal of technology. Find out more about all the environmentally friendly services we can offer you and your business by getting in touch with our experienced team or explore our IT lifecycle services here.
Becoming a Sustainable Business
In episode two of our podcast series, created in collaboration with the Leader’s Council, our Sustainability Lead and Chartered Environmentalist, Astrid Wynne, talks about what it is to be a sustainable business.
Listen to the full podcast below. Click here to learn more about our new podcast series.
Read the full podcast transcript here.