By making this commitment, companies will be looking to ensure that all plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and to begin the transition to a circular economy business approach.
Ideas for action
- Remove all single-use plastics from offices, factories, warehouses and retail outlets, such as single-use plastic bags and water bottles. Offer alternatives, and encourage and incentivize your customers and employees to do the same.
- Invest in innovation and design products for re-use,making them multiple use, not single use.
- Develop fully reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging within business operations by 2025.
- Ensure effective plastic waste management by recycling and reusing plastics as much as possible to eliminate plastic waste by 2030.
- Transition to a circular economy business model that creates effective after-use pathways for plastics, drastically reducing leakage of plastics into natural systems, in particular the Ocean, and decoupling plastics from fossil feed stocks.
- Remove microbeads from all products as soon as possible.
Why? About 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the Ocean every year. If we maintain this rate, it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the Ocean than fish by 2050. The proliferation of cheap and single-use plastic, and the resulting, mismanaged plastic waste, is impacting Ocean wildlife such as marine birds and animals through entanglement or poisoning. It is even entering the food chain through the fish we eat, with potential human health impacts that we are only now beginning to understand. Beneath the Ocean’s surface, even in the remotest and deepest parts of the Ocean, are high concentrations of microbeads, plastic microfibres and broken-down plastic particles that are impossible to remove completely from the Ocean and are easily ingested by sea creatures. The majority of marine plastic comes from land-based sources, from uncollected waste or leaky waste-management systems. Urgently needed solutions call for a combination of enhanced awareness, reduced plastic use, massively improved waste management, particularly in developing countries, and the transition to a circular economy.
- United Nations Environment Programme #CleanSeas Campaign: cleanseas.org/take-action?action=173#action_173
- Ellen McArthur Foundation’s The New Plastics Economy initiative: newplasticseconomy.org/about
- Plastic Pollution Coalition: plasticpollutioncoalition.org
- Break Free from Plastic Movement: breakfreefromplastic.org
- Beat the Microbead: breakfreefromplastic.org
- #OneLess pledge (UK-based): zsl.org/conservation/habitats/marine-and-freshwater/one-less
- The Global Beach Clean-up: https://cleanseas.org/cleanup