Productivity, in part, is about the efficient use of time, energy, and resources. However, as a society, many believe that any solution which is 'faster and cheaper' for a single person is the best one. I would argue that true productivity for an individual, firm, or the planet as a whole needs to embrace a systems approach which accounts for long-term impacts and is more 'global' to integrate the various parts. Otherwise, the real costs are not considered.
Due to the nature of ocean currents and the waste disposal habits of modern Homo sapiens, a very large island of plastic garbage exists within the Pacific. In fact, this floating heap of trash is visible from space. Here it is within Google Maps. Clearly, systems thinking with a time horizon extending far into the future is currently lacking for our world.
I am not advocating that everyone should stop using plastic; however, I would suggest that smart consumerism includes making responsible choices. Vote with your dollars when plastic is concerned (e.g. small bottles, shopping bags, single-item wrappers, and many other packages). There is currently too much waste. Of course, if the costs of oil continue to rise (especially if we have really crossed Hubble's Peak), then Adam Smith's invisible hand might solve this problem with market forces as firms will seek other remedies.
To learn more about this island of trash, I've embedded this clip from an web documentary called Garbage Island (note: this was produced by VBS, an online broadcast network, not PBS...and therefore, it does contain some adult language).