One of our customers launched a culture within their company recently under the title of “Obsessed”. I think it is a great title, but I reached for a dictionary.

“To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic” “Excessively” means “too much” and generally has a negative connotation.

Surely you can be obsessed with something meaning that you really love it and in this case being obsessed is a positive. I think that being obsessed about food is a quality that you would recognise and respect in many professional caterers.

However, I also think that many business owners are obsessed with their business and sometimes this can result in poor judgement, and an unhealthy balance of work and life style.

Obsessed about the environment

The more I read, the more I am concerned about the lack of real change to reduce the impact we are having on our planet. It seems to me that as facts get clearer about climate change and pollution, we keep kicking the same old cans down the street.

Recycling plastic does work with HDPE milk containers, but this success does not set a precedent for all other plastics especially as recycling rates seem to have plateaued.

I noted this horror story about front of store collections of flexible plastics in the UK and where they end up.

We are not changing fast enough, and as a result I am finding that I am getting obsessed on making changes and helping others to make changes to become more sustainable.

We need to change packaging substrates, designs, working practises and on pack information, this must be driven by the manufacturing sector. This is a clear opportunity for the small, flexible, and disruptive companies. Companies like Westaways can prove the art of the possible.

I am lucky enough to have the discretional time to watch people and note their behaviour, I have no doubt whatsoever that people do want to change. The clever bit is providing them with the ability to make those changes. We need manufacturers and innovators who are prepared to show leadership, but also are prepared to collaborate and share good practise so we can all learn.

I thought back to the word obsessed, and whether this was an appropriate use. For me I believe it is.

I am obsessed about reducing the damage that is happening to the amenities we all enjoy and for me there is nothing negative about this.  It could not be more positive, Westaways are proving these changes are possible.