Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever and H&M sign up to major plastic waste campaign

Katie Ramirez
November 1, 2018

250 organisations including major food and beverage companies, governments and packaging manufacturers have signed The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the United Nations and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which aims to tackle rising plastic waste levels.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment will be launched in collaboration with the UN Environment at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali later today (29 October).

The commitment has been adopted by 290 other organizations including numerous world's largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and nongovernmental organizations... Others range from the WWF to Nestle and Coca-Cola Femsa, with the total list of signatories representing 20 per cent of all packaging produced globally.

The global commitment was "a step-change we urgently need in order to move from a linear to a circular economy" according to Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider.

The new plastic targets build on ecostore's existing quarter of a century long commitment to making its packaging more sustainable - primarily through investing in sugar biobased plastic, increasing recyclability and reducing single use options.

Businesses will publish annual data on their progress. Individual targets within the commitment were set, and the collective ambition among signatories will grow with time. If this rate continues for the next decades or so, there could be more plastic than fishes in the ocean by 2050.

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All of the organizations plan to make 100 percent of their plastic packaging either reusable, recyclable, or compostable within seven years.

And she urged businesses to go further "in a race to the top" to create a system for using plastic where it never becomes waste or pollution. We want to act and lead by example.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation started its research on plastic pollution four years ago.

Participation to the initiative is not limited to big brands in the retail and manufacture sectors as more than fifteen financial institutions, particularly those with more than $2.5 million in assets under management, have also pledged their support for the Global Commitment.

The Washington-based environmental group Oceana, for its part, said the commitments are "vague promises" and called on companies to stop using plastics.

"I am proud that today we have signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment", UK Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove said. Around the world there has been investment and innovation, as well as community-led efforts, to clean up plastic pollution.

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