Source: Piccolo

We must look at Earth Day this year as an opportunity to embed climate goals into economic recovery plans

In the past weeks, we’ve seen how something that initially started far away can quickly move to our shores and significantly impact the way we live. The turmoil caused by Covid-19 has dominated the news and we’re all feeling the dramatic changes to our lives. 

Everyday issues that used to make headlines have fallen by the wayside, but one topic we’re very much reminded of is how we think about the natural world. On 22 April, it’s Earth Day, and as we fight a global pandemic we’re humbly reminded of the fragility of humanity. Our collective responsibility to future generations becomes even more apparent.

Over the past few weeks, as our high streets have closed, roads emptied and the intensity of our public transport eased, we have witnessed cities across the world doing the same. More than 2.6 billion people now live under restrictions, and this is having a real impact on the planet. Global pollution levels have fallen more than we could have ever imagined, overnight.

With UN talks on climate change postponed, countries will not have the chance to review their commitments to new climate goals, and many are now saying action could be put be put on hold for months or years as governments and businesses focus on economic recovery. However, I believe we must look at Earth Day this year as an opportunity to embed climate goals into these recovery plans.

Never has there been a more opportune moment for the food industry to take a step back and review what its commitments can be. This is the time for businesses to think and act upon long-term strategies to better our impact on the Earth and those we share it with.

As a founder I feel a responsibility and commitment to protect the Earth. It’s an issue I’ve always been passionate about, inspired by my father who helped set up the recycling programme at the United Nations years ago.

Since the beginning of Piccolo, I’ve wrestled with the hard reality that all babyfood pouches cannot be recycled and by recycled, I mean in our recycling bins at home! While attempts at upcycling schemes have been a step in the right direction, to effect real change, solutions have to be practical – and at-home recycling is just that.

That’s why Jonathon Porritt, the sustainability expert, has helped us since our inception. Jonathon knows that, with the planet now facing a climate emergency, there’s an obligation on all companies to improve their sustainability plans.

As we grow, we must ensure our practices are as sustainable as possible. So, at Piccolo we aim to build the public’s awareness that a recyclable pouch is possible – then it’s about ensuring all councils in the UK recycle it.

The current crisis has taught us that rapid behavioural change is entirely possible to protect the safety and health of our communities. What if we took the same approach to how we manage our waste, to protect the Earth? The impact would be immense.

While we are a small startup and I’m incredibly proud of what we’re trying to do, I know we’re not there just yet. In these extremely challenging times, it’s the responsibility of all businesses to address the short and long term for us and our Earth. As we take those small steps, and by making it simpler for consumers to get involved, we will all be much closer to all appreciating the birdsong.