Industry > Green

Volvo is doing away with single-use plastic stuff

In company’s quest to reduce global carbon footprint

Let's all be mindful of our plastics usage. Go biodegradable. PHOTO FROM VOLVO

Cars are usually blamed for a lot of things, most especially with regard to their adverse impact on the environment. So now we hear of the whole automotive industry racing to shift from conventionally powered vehicles to electric ones.

But harmful emissions aren’t the only way automakers are hurting the planet. Because they employ regular people like us who consume regular stuff, their personal footprint isn’t that much different from yours and ours. For instance, workers at car manufacturers use plastic utensils and plastic water bottles just like the rest of us. And this, lest we forget, is also wreaking havoc on our surroundings.

Good thing car companies like Volvo is shining the spotlight not just on vehicle exhaust but also on their everyday use of things that are detrimental to the environment. The Swedish auto firm has just announced that it will stop using single-use plastics by the end of 2019. That means no more plastic utensils, bottles and cups in all its offices, showrooms and even events around the globe. Volvo is looking to replace them with such biodegradable products as paper, pulp and wood, estimating that the move will ultimately result in the removal of “over 500 plastic items per employee per year.”

This is Volvo's sustainability director. No need to grow a beard like his to show your love for the planet. Just stop using plastic stuff. PHOTO FROM VOLVO

“Plastics pollution is one of the great environmental challenges of our time,” Volvo sustainability director Stuart Templar said in a statement. “We take our responsibility seriously. We must play our part in helping tackle this global problem.”

Now, we’re not so much interested in that quote as we are in the fact that most carmakers these days have “sustainability” executives whose job is to ensure their employers are doing their best to minimize their carbon footprint. We actually felt compelled to pick up this story just because we ourselves are big consumers of single-use plastics. We believe it’s high time we finally did something about this.

If we all truly care about the world we call home, let’s curb our use of plastics and convince others to do the same.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.