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Majority of senior execs in fashion & retail are committed to abolishing plastic.

By February 1, 2024February 7th, 2024No Comments

A new study with 100 senior executives who work for fashion brands and retailers in the UK, US and Australia reveals that the majority (88%) plan to stop plastic in packaging altogether. 

Aquapak Polymers Ltd, which specialises in polymer-based material technologies that can help deliver both performance and environmental responsibility at scale, commissioned the research to understand the rate of progress toward sustainability goals.

Some 8% are planning to abolish plastic within the next 12 months, 14% within one to two years, 19% within two to three years, 30% within three to four years and 28% within four to five years.

Extreme concern remains over continued use of polybags

Almost half (48%) said that they are extremely concerned about their business’ use of polybags such as carrier and garment bags, the majority of which are used for merchandise bought on-line, and the damage they cause to the environment.  According to global innovation platform Fashion for Good, the fashion industry uses around 180 billion polybags every year.

The new report showed that plastic use ranked third in the top factors impacting the environmental performance of their business, with only the energy efficiency of operations and the sourcing of merchandise which uses sustainable materials rated more important.

The research also showed that of the steps taken to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used, 77% have folded items differently, 59% have removed unnecessary types of packaging and 46% have changed the packaging type.

CGI images of molecules

To help reduce plastic packaging pollution Aquapak has developed Hydropol™, a unique new polymer which is soluble and non-toxic to marine life. Hydropol™ can be used as an alternative to conventional plastic in a wide variety of applications as it provides the same functionality and performance but without the associated environmental problems.  It is currently used to make products such as garment bags, offering all the necessary features of traditional polybags: strength and puncture resistance; clarity of film; and protection from leakages and dirt.

Hydropol™ offers multiple end-of-life options for consumers and brands

Crucially, Hydropol garment bags offer multiple end-of-life disposal options for consumers and brands. They can be disposed of in existing domestic waste streams without contaminating other recyclable products or they can be dissolved immediately in hot water at home without producing harmful micro-plastics. They are also compostable, and degrade harmlessly on land or in the ocean.

Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, comments: “Our study shows that there is a commitment at the highest level in the fashion industry to stop using harmful plastics.  Brands and retailers are already taking steps to reduce their dependency on plastic packaging, but the pace of change could be much faster.  New materials exist which perform in exactly the same way as plastic, providing garment and merchandise protection without the environmental problems associated with it.

Aquapak is already working with several early-adopter fashion companies who are determined to drive a significant change in their industry by embracing upstream innovation in packaging.

Aquapak Polymers Ltd
Hollymoor Point
Hollymoor Way, Rubery
Birmingham B31 5HE
United Kingdom

UK & Europe:
+44 (0)121 516 5656
Asia: +65 975 53 203
USA: +1 413 246 4452