This Massive Coalition Might Actually Eliminate Single-Use Plastics

Sick of hearing all this depressing news about our polluted oceans and doomed climate? Well, here’s a little glimmer of hope to brighten your day. Over 250 of the world’s most massive companies have gotten together and signed on to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. And it’s a pretty big deal.

The commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Program, requires participating companies to start implementing reusable packaging whenever possible—immediately. But that’s not all.

By 2025, all of the plastic these companies produce must be recyclable, reusable or compostable AND be created using renewable energy. That means a huge dent in single-use plastics and significantly cleaner manufacturing practices.

It also means working globally to create an infrastructure to allow plastics to be recycled and reused more readily, because our current recycling streams leak out a lot of waste.

Dirty used colored plastic bottle pile

But perhaps the most exciting part of this initiative is who has hopped on board. Included in this coalition are market behemoths like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Colgate, Unilever, L’Oréal, SC Johnson and H&M.

Together, these 250+ companies are responsible for creating around 20 percent of the world’s plastic waste. And they’re actually stepping up to the plate to do something about it. How refreshing.

“We’ve been working with many of these organizations from the beginning, and they know it’s not okay to produce plastic packaging that ends up leaking out of the system,” Ellen MacArthur told Fast Company. “It’s not the future. It’s not the solution long-term. What began as a result of the Industrial Revolution is now seriously out of control, and we need to reset the parameters and work out what success looks like for that industry.”

Hands holding plastic bottle

According to the commitment’s initial research, 32 percent of plastic collected for recycling ends up leaking out into the environment and inevitably polluting our oceans. Not only is this number shocking, but it is utterly unacceptable. That’s why single-use plastics have become such a global issue.

While it is pretty special to see all these massive companies working together to innovate and improve the planet, they don’t have much of a choice, thanks to the EU’s recent approval of a single-use plastics ban, which is set to make massive global shifts by 2025.

Until then, you can still do your part by avoiding single-use plastics as often as you can and buying reusable products and bulk items. Every purchase you make sends a message. You can also do your part by encouraging others to take reduce, reuse and recycle seriously.

Initiatives like these don’t mean that we as consumers get to sit back and relax. It’s going to take a full global effort to clean up the environmental mess humans have created. We all need to take our share of the responsibility. Even Coca-Cola and PepsiCo know that.

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Images via Getty

81 comments

Andrea S
Andrea S22 hours ago

step in the right direction, even if it's a little on the late side!

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Frances G
Frances Gyesterday

Thank you

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Shae Lee
Shae Lee2 days ago

Thank you for sharing♥

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Alexandra R

Thank you.

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Marija M
Marija M3 days ago

Good news, hope it comes true.

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Melanie St. Germaine

I think that pop has more fizz in glass bottles. The Pop Shoppe had it right in the 1960-70's.

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Karen Martinez
Karen Martinez4 days ago

This is great news! I wish we would go back to soda in glass bottles. It just tasted better that way. Plus, kids got to collect bottles and take them back to the grocery store. There is hope for our society yet. Thank you for the article.

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Lisa M
Lisa M4 days ago

Thanks.

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Lisa M
Lisa M4 days ago

Thanks.

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Toni W
Toni W6 days ago

TYFS

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