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Plastic fantastic: “We need to change the negative view about plastic”

“There is a powerful anti-plastic movement, even though this negative view on plastics is not always justified.” So how can we improve the image of plastic in an accessible way? That is when the Dutch Federation of the Rubber and Plastics Industry (NRK) and Rethink got together to create a series of YouTube vlogs. In their latest video, Jan Willem Wieringa, CEO of Desch Plantpak and board member of the NRK, discusses why it is so important to change the way the world thinks about plastic.

Anti-plastic movement
Wieringa explains that this project is an initiative to improve the image of plastic in an accessible way. “There is a littering problem, resulting in the negative image on plastic. However, we need to rethink this. In fact, plastic is fantastic, it is a great material to work with. However, we shouldn’t let it litter.” And as plastic producers in the horticultural industry, it is difficult to reach the people outside of the industry. “The anti-plastic movement is great at spreading their message, whereas our positive one doesn’t get picked up very well. But now that we have a pair of young vloggers to show our side of the story, we are hoping to get the message across in a fun and simple way.”

Jan Willem Wieringa, Desch Plantpak  

Stepping outside of the industry
Therefore, it is their aim to re-educate the outside world regarding plastics. “These vlogs are a great way to reach a younger generation, which is important. When we do tours for school classes at our company, the students always come in with the notion that plastic is bad. But when they see what we do and we explain our processes, they leave understanding that recycled plastics are a great option. And in the horticultural industry especially, we have been making great progress. Whereas many plant pots used to be black, we are now moving toward materials that are detectable in the recycling process. That way, the consumer can brighten their home with plants without feeling bad about the plastic waste. When the pot is made from recycled plastic and gets recycled again after its use, we are creating a circular process.”

A growing series
On the Rethink YouTube channel, there are already five videos available for viewers to enjoy, and a new one will be added every other week. “The videos are asking critical questions and we are excited for viewers to reconsider this topic of discussion.”

For more information:
Desch Plantpak
Jan Willem Wieringa