250 major brands, including Coca-Cola (NASDAQ: COKE), H&M (CPH: HM-B) and L’Oreal (EPA: OR), have all pledged to eradicate all plastic waste 2025.
In a move that was described as the most ambitious effort yet in the fight against plastic by the UN, the big brands have promised to make all waste either reused, recycled or composted.
A partnership between The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has pushed for the eradication of plastic waste, which is harming the world’s oceans.
“We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year,” said the founder of the foundation, Ellen MacArthur.
Erik Solheim, who is the executive director of UNEP, described the promise to fight plastic as “the most ambitious set of targets we have seen yet in the fight to beat plastics pollution.”
Julian Kirby, who is a campaigner from Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s encouraging that more firms and governments are listening to public demands to curb plastic waste and are pledging to act. A global movement on this issue is urgently needed.”
It has been estimated that 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced since 1950, with most of this ending in a landfill.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) and Nestle (SWX: NESN) have all signed up to the movement – a big move from the three biggest plastic polluters. The three groups accounted for 64% of all plastic pollution in clean-up operations.
Ben Jordan, the senior director of environmental policy at Coca-Cola, said: “We are focused on improving the sustainability of all of our packaging, regardless of the type, and increasing the amount of recycled and renewable material.”
Last week, the European Parliament voted for a ban on single-use plastic items to cut pollution. Plastic waste will be eliminated by 2021.