Consumer Goods Companies Are Developing ‘False’ Solutions to Plastic Pollution, New Report Reveals

Consumer Goods Companies Are Developing ‘False’ Solutions to Plastic Pollution, New Report Reveals

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In its new report, non-profit organisation Break Free From Plastic reveals that main fast-paced shopper items (FMCG) firms are lacking the mark with false options to the plastic air pollution disaster. These firms additionally constantly rank because the world’s top corporate plastic polluters

Break Free From Plastic have tracked the plastic answer initiatives and pilots of seven main FMCG firms –Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Mars, Inc., Mondelez International, Nestlé, Unilever and Coca Cola Company – plus eight business alliances they’re a part of, and have revealed these findings in a new report titled “Missing the Mark: Unveiling Corporate False Solutions to the Plastic Pollution Crisis”. Analysing 265 company tasks from 2018 to April 2021 to find out how a lot consideration firms are giving ‘correct’ options resembling reuse and refill methods, the organisation discovered simply 39 of the 265 initiatives built-in these options.

Companies Are Developing 'False' Solutions to Plastic Pollution, Report Reveals
Photo: John Cameron.

The remainder of the tasks – 226 of them – have been categorised as false options to the plastic air pollution disaster as outlined by the organisation’s specialists. “The world’s prime polluting firms declare to be tackling plastic air pollution, however the proof for a way critical they’re is within the numbers,” mentioned Emma Priestland, Break Free From Plastic Corporate Campaigns Coordinator. 

“These firms are pursuing false options that vary from doubtlessly damaging at worst, and  easy wishful considering, at greatest. What the findings reveal is that solely 15% of the tasks are confirmed options like reuse, refill, and various supply methods. Instead these firms are investing in tasks that do little to get rid of single-use plastics.”

In an introduction to a media webinar, the organisation notes that a few of the plastic air pollution initiatives funded by these firms are “extremely worrying”; schemes resembling unproven-at-scale novel applied sciences and plastic ‘offsetting’ schemes modeled after carbon offsetting however the place the plastic is incinerated in cement kilns.


Yuyun Ismawati of environmental NGO Nexus3 Foundation in Indonesia and a member of the professional panel which analyzed the companies’ initiatives has noticed these options being peddled in Asia that do little or no to resolve the air pollution downside. “Chemical recycling creates new poisonous waste; plastic to gasoline or Refuse Derived Fuel is opposite to the round financial system, and plastic offsetting is upsetting as a result of it fails to reply the plastic disaster,” she mentioned.

“These varieties of initiatives present a scarcity of ambition and prioritization of different product supply strategies. Multinational companies have greater than sufficient sources to spend money on new supply methods, reuse, refill and redesign, that may permit for a dramatic discount in the usage of single-use plastics. They ought to change the best way of doing enterprise and cease greenwashing.”

The report additionally ranked the seven FMCG firms from absolute worst to least worst and Procter & Gamble takes first place with Unilever in final place.

Global plastic air pollution is much outpacing efforts to cease it. A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation reveals that plastic manufacturing is about to quadruple by 2050, with FMCG firms and single-use plastic packaging driving the upward development. Single-use plastics account for a third of all plastics produced annually, with 98% derived from fossil fuels. Only 9 % of plastic is recycled with the remaining ending up in landfills, incinerators or the pure setting.

Roughly eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the oceans annually. Without motion, the annual flow of plastic into the ocean could quadruple by 2040.

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Cover picture by Anna Shvets.

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