Wouter van Tol, head of sustainability at packaging maker DS Smith, is working with new seaweed-based materials to deliver more alternatives to today’s frequently unrecyclable food packaging. The London-based company’s North American unit recently announced an aggressive initiative to adopt seaweed-based fiber in its products. We discuss why it’s still hard to recycle even common forms of fiber packaging, like the cardboard boxes used for e-commerce order deliveries (not enough infrastructure funding) and how seaweed-based alternatives could replace food packaging from a cereal box to the trays used for raw meat.
Wouter also discusses DS Smith’s progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions, use of recycled materials, and the challenge of getting its employees to adopt sustainable thinking in their daily decision-making. The many conflicting approaches to local recycling around the world have prevented society from achieving the high recycling rates necessary for the circular economy to blossom, so DS Smith is working to get 5 million young people to start practicing green, circular behaviors. You can follow their progress at www.dssmith.com.