“I understand that all of us in the developing world are part of a huge system and narrative that does not really appreciate the intrinsic value of our earth’s raw materials. Many premodern cultures had a narrative based on only using what was needed, with gratitude and awareness of the whole and then giving back to the source. Whereas we take, use and discard, often within a few seconds, without much consideration and at alarming levels. No one is immune or really to blame but together we all are responsible. The only creative response is hope. There are so may new opportunities emerging, scientifically and economically, but the deeply imbedded narrative of consumption without giving back has to change within the minds of millions of people so that we can see and re-consider the value of every material we use. Then the creativity that is needed to make the changes will be released.
When I finally accepted the existential crisis we are facing I felt powerless but decided to channel my anxiety in a constructive and pragmatic way to do what I can. I learnt very quickly that on an individual level it is hard to have any impact due to the scale of the challenge, so I found out what I could do – now I eat plant based food, drive an electric car, consciously consider my consumption and invest ethically. At work along with several others, I expressed my interest in sustainability and am very happy that the management has embraced the pressing need to respond wholeheartedly. I am excited to now be part of a great team focusing on sustainability packaging for internal and external research and advice.”