The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has released its New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Spring 2019 report, which calls on companies and governments to do more to fight against plastic pollution.
The report also found consumer goods companies and retailers are committing to increasing their recycled content in their packaging to an average of 25% by 2025, compared with the current global average of just 2%.
Tackling plastic pollution
Leading businesses and governments will end the use of “problematic and unnecessary” plastic, including PVC and single-use plastic straws and carrier bags – many of them by the end of this year.
Other large companies, which are publicly disclosing their annual plastic packaging volumes include Nestlé, Unilever and Mars.
Coca-Cola is aiming to tackle plastic pollution through its World Without Waste plan, which was launched in January 2018 with a target of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. It is currently at more than 87% because its predominant packages are already 100% recyclable.
Through this programme, Coca-Cola has set a goal to have 50% recycled material in all its packaging by 2030.
On-trade drinks supplier Diageo also revealed it used 40,000 tonnes of plastic in one year in the report. It is aiming to ensure 100% of its plastic use is designed to be widely recyclable or reusable.
Meanwhile, single-use plastic straws and stirrers could be banned as early as October this year, after environment secretary Michael Gove launched a consultation into scrapping the items.
In England, it is estimated that 4.7bn plastic straws are used annually, 316m plastic stirrers and 1.8bn plastic-stemmed cotton buds.
In order to eliminate these items from use, the Government intends to introduce a ban on their distribution and sale.
The ban would come into force somewhere between October 2019 and October 2020, subject to analysis of views collected during the consultation, which ended in December last year.