Harness the past, present and future to make climate history

Director of Cullen Eco-friendly Packaging David MacDonald unwraps the great potential of COP26

David MacDonald

In the year of COP26, Scotland has the chance to make history. With the world’s most powerful and influential politicians, businesspeople and activists descending on Glasgow in November, it provides the perfect opportunity to showcase and highlight the outstanding contribution Scottish businesses are making when it comes to improving our planet.

As a business, Cullen Eco-friendly Packaging has 100 years of experience designing and manufacturing paper products and packing solutions that are compliant with global sustainability aims. We’re firm believers in the circular economy – the principle of designing-out waste and pollution by keeping products and materials in use – and we practice circularity in our manufacturing facility daily.

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In the last five years, we’ve delivered 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable product and packaging solutions to more than 33 countries, generating global sales of more than one billion units.

Through our internal closed-loop recycling process, we use the waste cardboard generated during the manufacture of our corrugate packaging as the raw material in the production of our moulded pulp products. This closed-loop recycling system reduces the waste we produce and the amount of virgin paper used.

In addition, all of our products and packaging solutions are 100 per cent recyclable and biodegradable, while maintaining the quality and functionality required.

As a proud Glasgow-based manufacturer, COP26 provides us with an opportunity to recalibrate and come together alongside other Scottish businesses with one common goal – to illustrate that Scotland’s commercial past, present and future can be harnessed to deliver real change.

Whether it’s the natural landscapes that provide opportunities for clean energy generation, technological hubs providing alternatives to traditional heating methods, or manufacturers innovating to provide sustainable substitutes to traditional and conventional products, Scotland has the potential to lead the world on climate change.

According to the UK Government, more than 5 million tonnes of plastic is used in Britain every year, almost half of which is plastic packaging. That staggering figure means that our landfills and natural environments are overflowing with unnecessary waste that is unable to decompose.

Rightly, governments across the world are taking action to prevent this continuing indefinitely. The UK Government has a target to recycle 61 per cent of plastic packaging waste by 2022 and the EU target is 50 per cent of all plastic packaging to be recycled by 2025.

In response, UK legislation changes such as the plastic packaging tax are due to come into force in April next year. At a cost of £200 per tonne for packaging with less than 30 per cent recycled plastic, businesses will have no choice but to review how their products are packaged.

While our business model means we will be unaffected by these impending regulations, it won’t stop us continually striving for improvement.

We look forward to standing alongside other Scottish businesses to embrace and activate planet positive change, before, during and after COP26.

- David MacDonald

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