In the UK alone, more than 5 million tonnes of plastic are consumed each year and the rising tide of plastic pollution in the world's oceans has been described as a "planetary crisis" by the UN. That's why the recent announcement that 11 leading corporations are moving away from single use plastic is a welcome step in the right direction. The announcement was made at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and is said that it will collectively represent more than 6 million tonnes of plastic packaging per year.

Here are some more details on the companies and their plans:

  1. Amcor says it’s the first global packaging company pledging to develop all of its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025, and aspires to be “the leading global packaging company.”
  2. Coca-Cola plans to collect and recycle all of the packaging it sells by 2030, and will make all of its consumer packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.
  3. Evian has pledged to make all of its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025 in a bid to become a circular brand.
  4. Ecover plans to use 100% recycled plastic in all bottles by 2020, to use recycled content in its caps from this year and to trial biodegradable materials that are still recyclable by 2020.
  5. L'Oréal commits to making all of its plastic packaging rechargeable, refillable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
  6. Mars aims to make its packaging 100% recyclable by 2025.
  7. M&S plans to make all packaging ‘widely recyclable’ in the UK by 2022.
  8. PepsiCo pledges to design 100% of its packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
  9. Walmart says all of its Private Brand packaging will be recyclable by 2025.
  10. Unilever commits to making all of its plastic packaging fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  11. The Werner & Mertz Group plans to use100% recycled plastic in all its consumer goods packaging by 2025.

“It is welcome news that many other major companies are making their own commitments to address ocean plastic waste,” Paul Polman, CEO Unilever, said. “Yet as a consumer goods industry, we need to go much further, much faster, in addressing the challenge of single use plastics by leading a transition away from the linear take-make-dispose model of consumption, to one which is truly circular by design.”

This announcement shows that large multinational corporations are starting to take notice of the world's plastic crisis. However, it will take further concerted effort by producers and increased pressure from consumers if we are to turn the tide on plastic and prevent irreversible damage to our planet.

 

This article was originally published on the 19th of January 2018 on 2degrees network