Earth Day Special: Combatting Plastic Pollution and Skills Gap

Earth Day Special: Combatting Plastic Pollution and Skills Gap

Celebrating Earth Day: Tackling Plastic Pollution and Closing the Skills Gap


At Hays, we are proud of our commitment to climate action and our journey towards achieving net-zero emissions. We have had our science-based targets for carbon emission reductions approved in support of our aspiration for net zero. We are making progress with a target of a 50% reduction in our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions versus 2020 by 2026, and a 50% reduction in our Scope 3 emissions by 2030.
As we celebrate Earth Day this year, the focus is on plastics, but the issue extends to waste, biodiversity, litter, and climate. Plastic pollution poses a severe threat to our oceans and wildlife, and it's crucial that we all play a part in addressing this issue. Additionally, as a sustainability recruiter, we recognize the importance of closing the skills gap to drive progress in environmental initiatives. Let's explore these topics further.

Tackling Plastic Pollution:

Plastic pollution has devastating consequences for marine life, with an estimated 100,000 marine mammals being killed each year due to ingestion or entanglement. Moreover, our throwaway culture and excessive plastic consumption are unsustainable. We produce 430 million tons of plastic annually, and if current trends continue, production is expected to triple by 2060. It's clear that we need to change our relationship with plastic and reduce our reliance on non-essential plastic products.

Transforming the Plastic Economy:

Addressing plastic pollution requires a comprehensive life cycle assessment, encompassing product design, production, consumption, and waste management. By 2040, a transformed plastic economy could create 700,000 additional jobs and reduce plastic pollution by 80%. Collaboration among specialists from various industries, including scientists, engineers, designers, supply chain specialists, marketers, and policy makers, is essential to achieve this goal. Scientists are developing sustainable polymers for packaging, engineers are finding ways to reuse plastic in manufacturing processes, and civil engineers play a vital role in building effective recycling and incineration facilities.

Individual Actions Matter:

While the scale of plastic pollution can be overwhelming, every individual can make a difference. We can reduce plastic waste in our homes, workplaces, and communities through simple steps. Avoid unnecessary food packaging, embrace reusable water bottles and coffee cups, and support local plastic clean-up groups. By making conscious choices, we can significantly reduce our annual plastic consumption and contribute to the solution.

Closing the Skills Gap:

To drive meaningful change and address environmental challenges like plastic pollution, we must bridge the skills gap. The demand for sustainability professionals is growing rapidly, and we need talent from all industries to work together. Scientists, engineers, designers, supply chain specialists, marketers, and policy makers all play crucial roles. Investing in education, training, and development programs is necessary to equip individuals with the skills needed for sustainability careers. 

Promoting Careers:

In our pursuit of a sustainable future, it is crucial to bridge the skills gap and promote green jobs among the youth. By investing in talent development and providing up-to-date education and training programs, we can equip the next generation with the skills and knowledge needed to drive environmental change.
Developing talent and promoting green jobs is crucial for building a sustainable future. By providing relevant education, ongoing training, hands-on experience, a supportive ecosystem, and staying up to date through research and development, we can create a skilled workforce ready to address environmental challenges. Let's invest in the youth, empower them with the necessary skills, and work together to create a greener and more sustainable world by developing talent. 


As we mark Earth Day, it's essential to reflect on the urgency of tackling plastic pollution and other environmental issues. By reducing our reliance on plastic, transforming the plastic economy, and taking individual actions, we can make a difference. Additionally, closing the skills gap by fostering talent and promoting sustainability careers is vital for driving progress. 
Contact our expert consultants to explore the possibilities of a career in sustainability or to find top talent for your sustainability projects. Remember, even small actions can make a significant difference when we all work together.