In an article published in the Wall Street Journal on December 28, 2018, author Carol Ryan discusses the coming year as a potential “tipping point” for plastic packaging. The article points out the changes that could come with China having banned imports of low-grade plastics for recycling, the European Union voting to ban many single-use plastics for food and beverage containers, along with an increase in consumer activism against plastic packaging.

The author explains that this will lead to increasing costs for manufacturers that can in turn be noticeable to investors. Ryan notes that “…companies will pay more to clean up the plastic they put into the market as more countries adopt so-called Extended Producer Responsibility.” However, these increased costs could be beneficial to some, including “packaging groups like International Paper or DS Smith, currently fielding calls from companies looking to switch from plastic to paper, and recycling groups.” With brands under pressure, “simultaneously appeasing activists of both financial and environmental kinds could become one of big food’s biggest challenges in 2019.”

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Carol Ryan (December 28, 2018). ‘Plastic Is Big Food’s Next Headache.’ The Wall Street Journal.