What are the environmental challenges in packaging that your entry addresses, and what impact do you hope it will make?

The WWF estimates that as much as 55% of plastic waste leaks into the Moroccan environment due to uncollected trash and illegal dumping. This rubbish gets into the Mediterranean and affects fishing, tourism and shipping, not to mention the adverse effects on marine biodiversity. By introducing circular schemes such as these, it is estimated that over 26 million bottles could be collected every year in Rabat alone. This would equate to savings of 790 tonnes of CO2 and 530 tonnes of plastic waste avoided.

I’d like to ask you about the broader picture beyond your successful entry. ‘Sustainability in packaging is multi-dimensional – both in terms of objectives and challenges. Could you comment on the most important roadblocks you identify from your position in the value chain and the kinds of solutions you would like to see addressing them (e.g. areas of technological innovation, collaboration, regulation)?

Searious Business is committed to stopping plastic waste from entering our ocean. We help major brands and organisations rethink their packaging and business models to reduce waste, introduce reuse systems, and find ways to recycle what we can’t eliminate.

The biggest roadblock is in people’s minds. So often, companies only see costs. We aim to show them that the benefits far outweigh any initial investment.

Reducing is the most simple; eliminate what you don’t need, redesign towards recyclability or look at alternative materials where appropriate.

Persuading brands to completely rethink their business models and introduce reuse and refill systems is a little more complicated. For single-use packaging to be eliminated, it will take ingenuity and collaboration from brave pioneers in the food industry.

We all dream of a world where all our waste is recycled back into products in a perfect closed loop. This dream is, unfortunately, a long way off. Manufacturers need to improve their designs for recycling and also to include recycled content in their products and packaging. Technology is advancing, but we must work with the system we have now, so producers should take end responsibility for their products. Don’t bring a product to market if there are no facilities in the distribution region to manage its waste. This is where legislation and regulation will play a vital role in the next few years.