Having lived and traveled in Southeast Asia for a number of years, I have seen and experienced the negative impacts of plastic pollution firsthand. I can’t count the number of times I’ve visited some of the world’s most breathtaking remote locations and couldn’t stop staring at the plastic everywhere.

Last week, I finally felt that we turned a corner on plastics. At the World Economic Forum several of the largest consumer goods companies announced Loop, a pilot system to test reusable packaging for everyday products like mouthwash, deodorant, household cleaners and certain food products.

Loop partners include Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Mondel─ôz and Danone. After a year of media attention on the overuse of plastics, the pilot will test consumer’s appetite for more “circular” products.

Circularity has been a buzzword for several years now, but 2019 may be the year it hits the mainstream. At its core, a “circular economy” is simply about designing and manufacturing products and materials that have continuous and infinite life cycles. It should be appealing for companies, as Accenture reported that it holds $4.5 trillion in business opportunity.

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