Addressing Plastic Waste in Telecom


By Daniel Jones

This week the first supermarket row without plastic packaging was introduced. After nearly 40 years of addressing the issue of plastic waste for our clients, Shields welcomes the help and fully supports addressing this issue at its source.

The world has woken up to the plastic problem with no more dramatic visible effect than the effect on marine life in our seas and oceans. Shields has been advocating better management of the use of plastic for decades. Now we are supported not only by the public but also the media, agreeing that food packaging must change and supermarkets must commit to removing plastic from food wrapping. We value this support in bringing about much-needed change.

In Europe, Shields pioneered the Environmental Balance Sheet where all incoming and outgoing material is tracked, and maximum recycling is achieved. This provides accountability for our clients (telecom operators) and along with the Shields zero landfill policy, ensures world-class corporate responsibility.

Ensuring telecom operators can track and trace every asset removed from their network for nearly 40 years has enabled our clients to prove the implementation and success of their corporate social responsibility policy programs.

The impact of our modern lives is receiving greater scrutiny. We live in a period of disposal products and instant gratification. Our children buy items on the internet which arrive within 24 hours, are generally low cost and low quality, last a year, then break and we buy again. Keeping up with trends can bring the need to buy the latest version of a product while disposing of the old. Mountains of waste are being created and we need solutions.

Long gone are the days of saving up each month and counting down the days to when you could finally afford your new toy, bike or iPod. That joyous moment of going to the store, picking out the item you’ve spent so much time thinking about, cherishing it for years, and maintaining it until it becomes a museum piece is over.

Nowadays we buy instantly using our computers or phones and the consequences of packaging don’t even cross our minds.

I wonder if, in the future, corporate responsibility will include every company having a zero-landfill policy within their supply chain, if so that would ensure there are many plastic-free rows in supermarkets added to this week’s inaugural one.