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EECT009 : A Management And Sustainability Analysis Of The Plastic Collective

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EECT009 : A Management And Sustainability Analysis Of The Plastic Collective

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Course Code: EECT009
University: Coventry University

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Country: United Kingdom

Description of Task and Assessment CriteriaThe aim of this assignment is to conduct a management and sustainability analysis of the Plastic Collective based on the information available in the public domain.Instructions:Background to the case: Investigate and report on the background and importance of the Plastic Collective and the Australian and international business landscapeDemonstration of the Body of Knowledge: Research, analysis and discussion of sustainability related strategies and issuesAnalysis of the situation: Relate your analysis to sustainability practices of the Plastic Collective (think relevant theory+ practice+ sustainability), and include the following aspects: Make recommendations and conclusions based on your analysis for future strategies in which management should engage (identify 3 major strategies based on the previous analysis of the company)Role of planningRole of organisingRole of leadingRole of controlExplanation of the case and synthesis with the theory: Make recommendations and conclusions based on your analysis for future strategies in which management should engage (identify 3 major strategies based on the previous analysis of the company).

Case background
Facts have dramatically changed for plastic wastages in recent few decades. It is to be noted that in 1950, the total production of plastic across the globe was 2 million tons, which reached 381 million tons by 2015 (Our World in Data 2018). In a span of 65 years, the increment in plastic wastages had increased by a close to 200-fold. Over the same period, cumulative production had reached to 7.8 billion tons, which means that each and every person living in this world now produce more than a million plastic (Our World in Data 2018). Another interesting fact is that higher plastic wastages are more in high-income countries. However, these countries also have much more effective plastic wastage management compared to countries recognized as belonging to a low-income status (Our World in Data 2018).
Plastics can be extremely harmful to different types of living creature and for the surrounding environment. Plastics on being left unmanaged can break down slowly into the soil. At this point in time, it becomes a good source to release toxic chemicals. These plastics whether in the soil or in the seawater becomes an unexpected source of the killing of animals who accidentally eat these things. Additionally, it affects the environment and pollutes the soil. Consequently, adds burden to the environment by boosting the release of CO2 and reducing the fertility effects of the soil (Tsiropoulos et al. 2015).
Australia and other countries in the world are into action towards reducing the wastage of plastics and reuse those to make the usable products. There has been an awareness in people with regard to sustainability as it is getting evident in strategies being adopted by different countries. For example, in Uganda plastics are being used to make the houses, which do not just reduce the number of plastic wastages but also resolving the housing issues. In Cameroon, people are using bottles to make the boats. These bottles have now become helpful for fishermen and for the environment. Belgium went to the next level in terms of using the recycled plastics. One of the startup companies in the country is involved in 3D sunglasses from the unused plastics. Sweden has always known for being an inch ahead of other countries in terms of reducing the adverse impact of plastic wastages. it went a step further again by introducing a mall named ReTuna, which only sells recycled and repaired products. MacRebur, a Scotland based company is engaged in reducing the damages being done form plastic wastages. The company is promoting the use of recycled plastics to create the roads. Roads consisting of plastics instead of the commonly used substance “Asphalt” are 60% stronger (NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India 2018).
Australia like Scotland is also using soft plastics and glass bottles to construct a road in Victoria. Additionally, Volvo in collaboration with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) is trying to manufacture eco-engineering products to be used in tiles onto a Sydney seawall. In this way, it promotes biodiversity. A mechanically different truck is being used to collect garbage from the seawater. It does so by sucking the water and then releasing the water back in the sea through a sucking pump. The technology can help to reduce garbage in the form of plastics in the seawater by a close to half a ton per year. Plastics are being used to manufacture outdoor products such as bollards, fences, decking, garden furniture, signs and park benches. Moreover, a Sydney based optics manufacturers are using recycled plastics to prepare a range of plastic glasses (The Sydney Morning Herald 2018).  
2. Body
2.1 Research 
Landfills that are commonly being used for the disposal of wastages such as plastics. Few countries that are well equipped with wastage management skills, resources and technologies perform an effective management of garbage. On contrary to this, low-income and developing countries, in particular, do not possess a capable wastage disposal and management system (Jambeck et al. 2015). Such uncontrolled management of plastics can seriously affect the environment with harmful releases. Some of the harmful releases in such situation are as follows (Jnr et al. 2018):
Greenhouse gases: Plastics are very difficult to break down as it consumes a very long time span and also requires a low oxygen condition. It causes plastics to decompose into methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) both of which are greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, greenhouse gases have become a huge problem for the world, especially for developing nations.  People are forced to inhale harmful substances, which are a common resource to many diseases in them like asthma, airway diseases, respiratory allergies, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer, mental health, stress-related disorders, neurological diseases etc. (Franchini and Mannucci 2015)
Leachate: Leachate substances can affect the surrounding environment by passing into waterways and the soils. An effectively managed landfills used to have an adequate liner that prevents leachate from assimilating with the soil and waterways. However, countries those who poorly manages landfills are more prone to allow leachate substances to affect the surrounding environment. Leachate substances are non-detectable due to being in very low concentrations.
Air pollution: In some places, plastics are burnt in huge quantity. It releases toxic substances like Polyethylene (PE), Polystyrene (PS) and Polypropylene (PP). These substances are resources to gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), dioxins and noxious that are potentially harmful to the environment.
Plastic wastages can be made less harmful to the concerned environment by applying three strategies namely recycling, incineration and disposal in a landfill (Geyer, Jambeck and Law 2017). This may appear as a simple question to decide about which one is the most effective of the three. However, this is actually a very complex question because of a fact that opinions may differ depending on different factors. Opinions may differ for a particular health, environmental and health issues. Impacts of different methods can also affect the decision-making on the choice of method to be used to manage the plastic wastages. Impacts of plastic wastages can range from greenhouse gas emissions, local pollution and energy use to the processing cost (Wilcox et al. 2016). However, recycling was found to have the lowest impact on global warming. It was also found in a number of studies as to consume the lowest energy (Pivnenko et al. 2016).
2.2 Analysis of the situation 
“Plastic Collective” can be called to have adopted a revolutionary approach towards minimizing the impact of plastic wastages. The company is planning to deploy its innovation into designing a machine to help the community to contribute to managing the plastic wastages. The company is thereby, helping the concerned stakeholders of environment wellbeing in reducing the adverse impact of plastics on the environment. The approach being adopted by the company is a form of innovation because it empowers the community and creates an earning solution to a whole lot of people (Plastic Collective 2018). The fact is identifiable in the light of what the “Triple Bottom Line” says. The triple bottom line approach says that sustainability is a state where businesses will be able to make profits, satisfy their stakeholders and positively impact the environment (Jnr et al. 2018). Hence, “Plastic Collective” will make profits with the innovation, positively impact the environment and will also improve the local economy by generating income resources to the concerned community.   
“Plastic Collective” is not just focused on the innovative machine but also on educating people on how to make plastic wastage management as their source of income. The machine is to be designed using reliable and practical machinery and tools. To prevent any chances of complexity with the operation of the machine, “Plastic Collective” will be providing a training namely the “Shruder” program to the community (Plastic Collective 2018). The training program is actually a step towards empowering people with the awareness for managing the plastic wastages and the ways to accomplish it.
The Shruder program looks promising for its operational objectives and the success Louise had with other programs in the past. Louise was awarded the winning title for the Startup Coffs Coast pitch competition in June 2017. In November 2017, Louise ranked the 7th in the StartCon pitch competition in Australia. Louise has demonstrated the “Shruder” on her tour to Vanuatu at the Pacific Mini Games (Plastic Collective 2018). These activities are actually good approaches towards calling people for the “Shruder” and using the mobile recycling machine to recycle the plastic wastages. In addition to all these, “Plastic Collective” also has considered encouraging businesses to avail its “Plastic Neutral Certification” to help them approach  sustainability and become socially responsible corporations. Therefore, these businesses or corporations by sponsoring to the “Shruder” program will actually pronounce their concerns towards the society and the environment (Plastic Collective 2018).   
2.2.1 Role of planning 
Role of planning is a vital step towards avoiding the errors and accomplishing the ultimate goal (Pivnenko et al. 2017). “Plastic Collective” appears to have effectively fulfilled the needs of the role of planning. The demonstration of the “Shruder” program in Vanuatu during the Pacific Mini Games and motivation to the businesses or corporations towards sponsoring the program are a few evidence for the fact. However, such programs have a very limited presence across the globe. It may be due to a fact that businesses at the most are only able to satisfy one level of the TBL, which are ‘the profit’. On contrary to this, there are just a few companies to have successfully managed the entire levels of the TBL (Onat, Kucukvar and Tatari 2014).
2.2.2 Role of organizing 
This is followed by the role of planning, which governs a collaboration between human, financial and physical resources. A program as such of the “Shruder” has a very rare existence globally. It may be that the world lacks such people like Louise of “Plastic Collective”. It can also be that there is inadequate financial support from the stakeholders such as the local government, the NGOs, the public & private firms, popular institutions and others. Physical resources such as the making cost of devices similar to that of “Plastic Collective” is much higher in other parts of the world. Notably, the cost of materials is not the same and probably a much higher in developed countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and others compared to emerging nations like China, India and Bangladesh (Jnr et al. 2018).   
2.2.3 Role of leading 
The role of leading is the next stage in management, which deals with leading the project. In the case of “Plastic Collective”, it has the leadership in Louise who is capable of handling the strategic plans. Louise is trying every possible strategy to make the “Shruder” a successful program. Apart from making the machine, Louise is also ensuring that the concerned community also understands what the machine is all about and how it operates. However, the world lacks such people who can lead from the front and make a difference in their communities. It also means that the role of leading would be of high regards for the commencement of programs similar to that of “Plastic Collective” (Jnr et al. 2018).
2.2.4 Role of control
This is perhaps the most complex of all four principle roles in management. The role of control would include everything from planning, organizing and leading a project. The level of effectiveness to deal with the role of control would actually make an impact on the ultimate goal of the project (Willis et al. 2018). The role of control in regards to managing the plastic wastages would require people such as Louise and companies that are contributing to the sustainability. Few different companies in various parts of the world like Sweden, Scotland, Belgium, Uganda and Cameroon have shown some signs of relief from the increasingly growing mismanagement of garbage of plastics.
2.3 Discussion of sustainability-related strategies and issues
The study identifies a few important finds that could be knowledge gaining for the world, which is concerned with a poorly mismanagement of plastic wastages. As shown in this report, the number of plastic wastages are getting increased with passing years. On the other hand, counter strategies are moving slowly compared to the rising issue. The study has identified a few countries with just one or two companies as coming ahead with an innovative idea to fight against this epidemic. These efforts are worth acknowledging for a fact that recycling is being promoted as a means to effectively manage the plastic wastages. Nonetheless, the study identifies three strategies to head towards effectively managing the garbage in the form of plastics from the seawater. These three strategies are incineration, recycling and disposal in a landfill (Miandad et al. 2016).  
Of all these strategies recycling is the best in managing the plastic wastages and reducing the harmful substances like the greenhouse gas, local pollution, cost of processing and energy use from the environment. Recycling is being found in several studies to have minimal global warming potential (Astrup et al. 2015). However, recycling is not a permanent solution towards the wastage minimization as can be found in the following (Parkes, Lettieri and Bogle 2015):   

It is assumed that each ton of recycled materials is an alternative option for one ton of primary materials. However, this is not always the case as recycling may also produce products that possess a low economic value and are of low quality also.
Recycling although being the best of three strategies still does not provide a permanent solution. It just delays the wastages as recycling can only be done once or twice after which there is no other option than to go for a disposal in landfill and an incineration.
Recycling clearly supplies the environmental benefits; however, it sometimes is not economically the best approach to go with. The financial profits are only realized when the oil prices are high and hence, recycling would then be a better option compared to a fresh production. In a case when the crude oil prices are low, a fresh production would then be a better option compared to recycling.

Based on the analysis following is the recommendation for future strategies:

Recycling of garbage in the form of plastics at the time when the price of oil is low and a fresh production would be costlier than a recycling (Jambeck et al.2018).
An effective management of disposal in a landfill by using technologies such as the one discussed in this report, which is a truck enabled with innovative technologies to collect garbage from the seawater. An effective management and regulation of incineration are also needed (Bing et al.2014).
Encouraging similar approaches as such being adopted by the “Plastic Collective”. There is a need for a leadership approach for a goal setting operation towards empowering the community with the knowledge of how to reduce the growing plastic wastages (Jambeck et al.2015).

In summary, this can be said that “Plastic Collective” has adopted a significant approach towards reducing the growing wastages of plastics. The plastic wastages have no permanent solution and can only be controlled and reduced from growing. It needs an adequate support of the stakeholders in terms of availing the required physical, human and financial resources for bringing more of such approaches as adopted by Louise. Recycling, disposal in landfill and incineration needs to be effectively managed with four management principles such as the role of planning, organizing, leading and controlling the program.
Astrup, T.F., Tonini, D., Turconi, R. and Boldrin, A., 2015. Life cycle assessment of thermal waste-to-energy technologies: review and recommendations. Waste management, 37, pp.104-115.
Bing, X., de Keizer, M., Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J.M. and van der Vorst, J.G., 2014. Vehicle routing for the eco-efficient collection of household plastic waste. Waste management, 34(4), pp.719-729.
Franchini, M. and Mannucci, P.M., 2015. Impact on human health of climate changes. European journal of internal medicine, 26(1), pp.1-5.
Geyer, R., Jambeck, J.R. and Law, K.L., 2017. Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science advances, 3(7), p.e1700782.
Jambeck, J., Hardesty, B.D., Brooks, A.L., Friend, T., Teleki, K., Fabres, J., Beaudoin, Y., Bamba, A., Francis, J., Ribbink, A.J. and Baleta, T., 2018. Challenges and emerging solutions to the land-based plastic waste issue in Africa. Marine Policy, 96, pp.256-263.
Jambeck, J.R., Geyer, R., Wilcox, C., Siegler, T.R., Perryman, M., Andrady, A., Narayan, R. and Law, K.L., 2015. Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean. Science, 347(6223), pp.768-771.
Jnr, A.K.L., Yunana, D., Kamsouloum, P., Webster, M., Wilson, D.C. and Cheeseman, C., 2018. Recycling waste plastics in developing countries: Use of low-density polyethylene water sachets to form plastic bonded sand blocks. Waste Management, 80, pp.112-118.
Miandad, R., Barakat, M.A., Aburiazaiza, A.S., Rehan, M. and Nizami, A.S., 2016. Catalytic pyrolysis of plastic waste: a review. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 102, pp.822-838.
Miandad, R., Barakat, M.A., Aburiazaiza, A.S., Rehan, M., Ismail, I.M.I. and Nizami, A.S., 2017. Effect of plastic waste types on pyrolysis liquid oil. International biodeterioration & biodegradation, 119, pp.239-252.
NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India 2018. Plastic Waste: How Different Countries Are Handling Plastic And What India Can Learn | Feature. [online] NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India. Available at: https://swachhindia.ndtv.com/plastic-waste-different-countries-handling-plastic-india-can-learn-14037/ [Accessed 22 Oct. 2018].
Onat, N.C., Kucukvar, M. and Tatari, O., 2014. Integrating triple bottom line input–output analysis into life cycle sustainability assessment framework: the case for US buildings. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 19(8), pp.1488-1505.
Our World in Data 2018. FAQs on Plastics. [online] Our World in Data. Available at: https://ourworldindata.org/faq-on-plastics [Accessed 22 Oct. 2018].
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Pivnenko, K., Eriksen, M.K., Martín-Fernández, J.A., Eriksson, E. and Astrup, T.F., 2016. Recycling of plastic waste: presence of phthalates in plastics from households and industry. Waste Management, 54, pp.44-52.
Pivnenko, K., Granby, K., Eriksson, E. and Astrup, T.F., 2017. Recycling of plastic waste: Screening for brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Waste Management, 69, pp.101-109.
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The Sydney Morning Herald 2018. Changing the game on plastic. [online] The Sydney Morning Herald. Available at: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/changing-the-game-on-plastic-20180604-p4zjbh.html [Accessed 22 Oct. 2018].
Tsiropoulos, I., Faaij, A.P., Lundquist, L., Schenker, U., Briois, J.F. and Patel, M.K., 2015. Life cycle impact assessment of bio-based plastics from sugarcane ethanol. Journal of Cleaner Production, 90, pp.114-127.
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