Plastics is (rightfully) back on the news agenda. According to Surfers Against Sewage, in 2016 we produced 320 million tons of plastic, and only a fraction of that was recycled.
With TV programmes like Blue Planet highlighting the issue of plastic pollution in our waters, people are starting to think twice about their purchasing decisions.
Brands are slowly starting to latch on to this mood, and in efforts to stay in favour with consumers, are beginning to innovate.
Campaigns such as banning plastic straws are pushing us in the right direction, but it really is just the tip of the plastic iceberg.
Here are two brands willing to fight the War on Plastic, and one that is currently siding with 'the enemy'.
International recycling company, Terracycle, have this year unveiled their new reusable packaging model, Loop.
Loop will allow consumers to buy products in refillable packaging which is then collected, cleaned and reused.
It's still in the pilot stages, but it was developed with some of the world's biggest brands including Nestlé, P&G, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars, Coca-Cola and Häagen Dazs, who will be the first brand testing the range using a steel ice-cream container.
Initiatives like these have the ability to do a great deal of good. However, if it’s not in the companies’ interest to do anything about our plastic problem, will they?
For example, if a water brand starts selling refillable water bottles, how would they sell their water?
Adidas 'Stripped Down Stripes' rugs
Adidas has been making waves in the world of sustainability for a while now with their Parlay range of products, made from plastic recovered from the sea.
While it's a noble effort, plastic can only be recycled a number of times, and trainers don't last forever. Adidas have tackled this problem by partnering with Dutch designer, Simone Post, who has created a range of 'Stripped Down Stripes' rugs from old trainers.
It's not an easy process. Trainers are amongst the most difficult products to recycle due to their many components held together with strong glue.
After shredding the shoes, they're separated into granules from which the rugs can be made.
'Commenting on the project, Post says: "If I look at these materials I don't see waste. Instead, I only see new possibilities of what we could make".
Adidas are successfully adding value to their products by using recycled materials, whilst at the same time creating a narrative woven with sustainability.
Poundland's Gift of Nothing
Fighting the 'war' on the opposing side, British discount retailer, Poundland, came under fire recently for selling a 'Gift of Nothing' for Valentine's Day.
The bizarre 'novelty item' was an empty piece of heart-shaped plastic packaging accompanied by the lines 'Exactly what you asked for' and 'Less is more'.
The retailer defended the move as 'a bit of fun', but others weren't as convinced.
Sian Sutherland, the co-founder of the anti-Plastic campaign group, A Plastic Planet, said: “How can Poundland possibly think this is OK? “This product is designed to go straight into the bin but will last for 500 years.
It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world. We are treating our beautiful planet like it's disposable when it's all we have".
Humour is great, and when brands get it right it's always a winner. But in this instance, and with the bigger issue in mind, we feel Poundland have taken a step or three backwards with this item of pointless pollution.
SEEN has been compiled by this months Guest-Editor and LOVE Creative Head, Chris Jeffreys.
Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? You can drop him a line at email@example.com.