Preface: This thing with Plastics and sustainability

Paxymer is posting a number of blog posts to Medium on Plastics and Sustainability. It is a theme CEO Amit Paul has thought long and hard about. The series aims to educate anyone who would like to know how to design better and more sustainable plastic products.

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips. But what is it really? Is it all about switching that last product you designed from polyester to ecological cotton or going from petrochemical materials to bio-based resins? From a plastic bottle to a paper packaging with recycled fiber?

Paxymer AB will post a series of thought pieces based on our views of the challenges around bringing plastics and synthetic materials into a sustainable society. I believe that the perspectives we are about to give will challenge your intuition; it will certainly challenge the current paradigm of eliminating petrochemical materials wherever they are used. What I aim for is to make your worldview a little more complex. And perhaps, if I do my job really well — I’ll have given you some tools to become a more sustainable global citizen.

Let us go back to where we started: What is sustainable? You might as well ask how long is a piece of string? The way I think about it is related to resource efficiency or handling resource scarcity. In other words: we need to use only the necessary resources and use each resource so that it produces maximum value.

My point is: in the case where we can compare something with nothing, nothing will be more sustainable. That means don’t consume if it can be avoided. The more interesting case to me is when we replace something with something else. Plastic replaced…

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