How Did Plastic Become Public Enemy No.1?

BY Jamie Sergeant
Global CEO
6 Aug 2021

Plastic is now a worldwide environmental issue. It is predicted that at current usage rates, by 2050, plastic in the Ocean will outweigh marine life. How did it escalate to this point and what can we do?

Plastic was originally invented with good intentions. Before the 1960’s, paper bags in shops were used daily. Over time, they were made and used to excess, harming the environment due to the amount of trees being cut and used for the bags. The solution was created in 1959 by Swedish engineer Sten Gustaf Thulin who created the plastic bag as an alternative. These were designed to be re-used and last longer.

However, not enough money was being made through the concept of reusing items. In the 1950’s Lloyd Stouffer, the editor of Modern Packaging magazine, argued to a group of industry insiders "to stop thinking about ‘reuse’ packages and concentrate on single use." If the plastics industry wants to drive sales, he argued, it must teach customers how to waste. (MAHB). From this new concept, and through advertising and changing society’s perceptions, single use plastic took off and was used daily without thought of consequence for years.

Now in 2021, plastic is unavoidable and used everyday. We see plastic bags floating through the wind and micro plastics embedded in the sand. 50% of the plastic produced is for single use purposes and to Gustaf Thulin, the idea of a single use for his reusable bag would be absurd.

If the idea of disposability were changed through advertising, who’s to say we can't reverse society's perceptions and do the same. Spreading awareness is one of the best ways to educate others and help with environmental issues. NGO and Crowd partner Plastic Oceans International, run many projects including educational programmes. They have a free PDF discussion document to help others run workshops and meet-ups, after watching the eye-opening documentary “A Plastic Ocean” which brought the problem of plastic in our seas to a global audience in 2016.


Crowd clean Bournemouth Beach as part of the Trees and Seas Festival


Recently Crowd did a beach clean to support the Trees and Seas Festival organised by Plastic Oceans International and we are committed to ensuring that plastic usage is kept to a minimum as part of our daily lives.

With a broad portfolio of sustainability projects under our belts, Crowd can help your business become cleaner and greener; something that’s becoming increasingly important to consumers.

Speak to us today.


Jamie has a passion for digital, and leads a team of designers, content creators and programmers that constantly push the boundaries in the world of digital.

Get in touch with us today to talk about your marketing challenges.