Interview with Kaméra VESIC – Founder and Chief executive of PikPik Environnement

Interview with Kaméra VESIC – Founder and Chief executive of PikPik Environnement

PikPikCould you tell us in a few words about Pikpik Environnement’s work?

Pikpik is an education association dedicated to sustainable development for everyone in the Paris area. We are particularly focused on the urban environment: reducing waste, preserving biodiversity, reducing our environmental footprint, etc. Using fun and entertaining activities, we promote eco-friendly habits everyday: sorting waste, using cleaner transportation, eating healthy and eco-friendly, etc.

Our social project is intended for underprivileged populations in the Hauts-de-Seine area, but we also work with public authorities and companies throughout the rest of the Paris area.

This year, Pikpik Environnement became a member of the French Packaging Council’s (CNE) seventh grouping (environmental protection associations). Could you explain your association’s motivations to support the CNE in its actions?

Pikpik has two reasons to join the CNE:

1/ To learn about the diverse packaging-related issues in order to pass on the information to our network, our partners, and the general public. Developing our knowledge and know-how is essential to expand our message and our tools.

2/ To inform the CNE and its members of the regular questions from the general public we face during our activities on the ground. We believe this is a two-way relationship that can beneficiate to everyone.

Pikpik Environnement works towards eco-citizenship; could you tell us what major issues our eco-citizens are concerned with when it comes to packaging? Would the CNE be legitimate to document these concerns?

Companies’ efforts to improve packaging often go unnoticed by the general public. Professionals (manufacturers, retailers, etc) are often viewed as profit and yield-driven opportunists rather than concerned by environmental issues. The CNE that is acting as a bridge between different professions can perfectly show both the efforts and the potential hindrances from the stakeholders, with figures to back it. This is the case for instance when it comes to deposit systems, which often come up in the questions we receive. The CNE’s working group has drawn a thorough report on the subject that clearly explains why these systems are used in some countries and why they are not currently adapted to the French market.

Unfortunately, packaging is rarely seen as much more than a communication medium; its technical aspects related to hygiene, safety, etc. aren’t well known. The CNE’s technical reports can remind the public of the different types of packaging, as well as their roles, their technical achievement, etc. The CNE’s monitoring also highlights false advertising or misuse of language.

PikPik Environnement participates actively in the CNE’s collective intelligence in the working groups. What do you think are the levers PikPik Environnement and the CNE should activate to bring the “best of packaging” even further?

Maybe we could think of specific workshops in order to encourage the participation of associations in the different working groups? Both consumers associations and environmental protection associations are too rarely seen in the working groups in spite of the CNE’s efforts. We should contact them to understand and overcome their hésitations.

PikPik Environnement’s objective is for the general public to understand the challenges of sustainable development and to modify their behavior so that everybody becomes a responsible eco-citizen.

How can the CNE contribute to better information on responsible packaging both from a social and from an environmental point of view?

The CNE already carries out important monitoring and benchmarking actions and organizes thematic working groups. However, all of this remains quite unknown from certain publics. Also, fact sheets ought to be more broadly released.

Could you identify one or two issues that fall into the scope of missions of PikPik Environnement and could be food for thought for one of the CNE’s working groups?

It could be interesting to work on 2 important questions:

1/ how to optimize delivery boxes (in a context of a rapidly expanding e-commerce);

2/ how to effectively follow up on the ban of plastic bags in French stores and on the –not always appropriate – alternatives to them that have emerged.

And what will packaging be like in the future? What about edible packaging?

Do you have any suggestions to develop the CNE’s activities and visibility?

The CNE’s visibility could be promoted through 1/ a greater presence on social networks (twitter, “Did you know?” on facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and 2/ a greater presence in several networks in France such as café DD, Club France Développement Durable and Global Compact France. Considering that this takes a lot of time, maybe the CNE could call on the French youth doing their civic service and on apprentices or even develop partnerships with communication schools.

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