The Issue of Environmental Pollution by Polipaks Group

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Introduction

Polipaks Group is a company that deals with packaging materials for the food and non-food industry and trade. They buy plastics in granules and sell ready-made printed packs and rolls. The company is located in Latvia and is the largest manufacturers of packaging solutions in their region. Polipaks Group consists of two production companies, the main one in Latvia and another company in Russia, and three distribution companies. The leading distribution company, Multipack, supplies packaging bags and tapes to restaurants, retailers, product manufacturers, and other businesses globally. Polipaks is an international brand with its products covering most East African countries and most of Europe. Polipaks is a well-structured and organized company leading the industry for more than twenty years.

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Statement of Scope

Solid waste management is the primary environmental challenge that is faced by most cities around the world. The production of solid waste keeps on growing with population growth. Sustainable measures to curb this menace and move towards environmentally friendly practices have evaded us. Plastic bags are among the most significant environmental challenges facing these cities. Kenya imports about 10 million plastic bags per month, half of which end up in streams and rivers and deposited in the ocean. One can find mountains of smelling solid waste in uncontrolled locations in the hearts of the Kenyan cities. While the authorities and environmentalists recognize the risks and health issues related to the poor management of the wastes, the lack of economic capacity has left the citizens crying for help.

The specified problem is not an issue attributed solely to the company under consideration. On the contrary, it presents a challenge for the industry as a whole since other top plastic producers as Coca Cola also struggle to address global environmental needs. As can be seen from the history of Polipaks, it is no exception to the rule as the business was facing many lawsuits worth millions of dollars for their share in plastic pollution on earth. At present, they only focus on risk assessment without any changes in materials (“Sustainability,” n.d.). Therefore, the shift is required in both products and perceptions.

From this perspective, the other solution lies in the development of a project combining the reorientation of the company’s operations with the creation of corporate social responsibility practices. The former will be the production of environmentally friendly plastic lumber with the use of waste plastic as a raw material. The latter would include the initiatives intended to promote the appropriate attitude among the company’s employees and increase the public awareness of the correspondence of Polipaks Group to the concept of ecological sustainability. In this way, the clients will use eco-friendly products, and the business will benefit from the improved image.

Accessibility of Data

For plastic waste to be used for construction operations, it must meet the purposed application’s mechanical and durability. Moreover, plastic waste should be cost-effective and viable to gain an advantage over other types of materials. Therefore, before producing the plastic lumber, data on the intended application’s durability and mechanical nature must be collected and analyzed to determine if that product is the most suitable. Failure to collect this information may cause an underperformance of the work leading to a lack of trust in the clients’ company. The data can be managed by merely asking the client a few questions.

Depending on the primary use of plastic, several types of plastic wastes can be generated. Different plastics have different compositions ranging from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS). This composition determines the plastic wastes’ physical properties, i.e., rigid, flexible, or brittle (Faraca & Astrup, 2019). Obtaining this data is an essential thing in the manufacturing of plastic products. It shows us the type of construction application that plastic waste can be used for. For example, an HDPE can be used to construct plastic lumber, chairs, and tables due to their high rigidity, while a PS can only be used as insulation materials due to their hard and brittle nature. This data will be obtained from a lab set-up near the factory by conducting a chemical analysis of the unknown plastic regarding residual substances, polymers, and contaminants.

The information which can be used for the proposed study can be found on the company’s website and applied to the results of research on ecological sustainability. The official data of Polipaks Group indicate the attention of the business to the specified problem as well as the absence of sufficient actions in this direction. As follows from their statement, it is clear that they focus on risk assessment and recycling while neglecting the need to change materials (“Sustainability,” n.d.).

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This gap will be addressed through the readjustment of the program with the use of appropriate techniques to find a balance between human sustainability, ecological sustainability, and overall sustainability performance (Nilashi et al., 2019). In this way, the available information alongside the results of the mentioned study on this aspect of business operations will allow to develop an efficient strategy. As for the accompanying risks, they are not applicable to the selected method of research since no sensitive information similar to financial statements is involved.

Demonstration of Outcomes

This project will be the final step in achieving the MBA outcomes, which we have been building towards for the course’s entirety. It will allow me to demonstrate my leadership ability to cope with the similar situations posing a threat to companies’ profitability. Some of these outcomes include:

  • The application of foundational knowledge and understanding of the interrelation of business systems, processes, and technology when resolving environmental issues and developing new initiatives in this regard. It addresses the unsuitability of the operations of Polipaks Group to the current global needs connected to their management, production, and distribution systems. The work implies conducting an analysis of the official qualitative information available to the public, combined with the consideration of recent studies’ results. The outcome will be demonstrated by the awareness of affected persons regarding the performed shifts.
  • The integration of information across disciplines and from different perspectives. To be competitive, we will minimize financial risks through the analysis of the plastic lumber marketability and the appropriateness of its inclusion under the concept of ecological sustainability. It will be seen in further surveys regarding the company’s popularity among clients.
  • Critical consideration for the provision of evidence-based solutions to business challenges and opportunities. In this case, the method to handle the Polipaks lawsuit problem would be the demonstration of the company’s actions intended to eliminate the underlying reason for such events. It will be based on a case study carried out in Brazil’s capital city who also used a similar project to minimize pollution in their town. Thus, the correspondance of the outcome of theoretical studies to the case of Polipaks will add to the program’s benefits.
  • The application of innovative, strategic, and sustainable approaches to business practices and planning. It is reflected in the decision to identify Polypak’s predicament solution and propose plastic manufacturing lumber alongside the improvement of the image to increase revenue in the long run.
  • Collaboration in virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments. This project will, in the long run, lead to the opening up of branches for Polypaks recycling operations globally, which will be seen in new partnerships.
  • Integration of principles of ethics into business decisions, which will consequently result in the successful global expansion and the improved practice of hiring new employees. It will be seen in their inclusion on the website.

Conclusion

This project identifies a problem of environmental pollution by Polipaks Group. It provides the solution by recycling waste plastics and using them as raw materials to manufacture plastic lumber alongside other plastic products. This initiative is combined with the development of corporate social responsibility in the company. The data required to fulfill this goal have been identified, and the method of its collection is well-structured. The project will help me take the final steps to achieve all the outcomes of the MBA program.

References

Faraca, G., & Astrup, T. (2019). Plastic waste from recycling centers: Characterisation and evaluation of plastic recyclability. Waste Management, 95, 388-398.

Nilashi, M., Rupani, P. F., Rupani, M. M., Kamyab, H., Shao, W., Ahmadi, H., Rashid, T. A., & Aljojo, N. (2019). Measuring sustainability through ecological sustainability and human sustainability: A machine learning approach. Journal of Cleaner Production, 240. Web.

Sustainability. (n.d.). Polipacks Group. Web.

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