Some Of The World's Biggest Companies Commit To Eliminating Single-Use Plastic By 2025

Image by Kristina Ratobilska / iStock

Sometimes it can be easy to gloss over environmental news, especially when you feel oversaturated by depressing statistics.

Well, here's some news that we can be really excited about: More than 250 of the world's largest organizations including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, SC Johnson, and H&M have just signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

The commitment calls on these companies to start eliminating unnecessary plastics and implementing reusable packaging where possible, starting right now. Then, by 2025, all of their plastic packaging must be reusable, recyclable, or compostable AND created using renewable energy.

This initiative, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Program, has been four years in the making. It began as an investigation into how much recycled plastic is actually recycled. (Not enough, in case you were wondering! Researchers discovered that 32 percent of our plastics ends up unaccounted for—aka, likely in our oceans.)

Following this troubling finding, the foundation called for a roundtable discussion with industry leaders that account for about 20 percent of the world's plastic packaging. They sat in the same room and worked together to answer the question "Where do we innovate so we change the system?” Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, tells Fast Company.

Instead of taking a micro-view, the coalition zoomed out and envisioned what the future would look like if we changed the system in a big way. How big? Well, the new commitment also calls on governments to provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure that recyclables are in fact recycled.

If you want to help support this effort, you can avoid single-use plastic and choose reusable items (like stainless-steel water bottles or glass to-go containers) to send a message to producers. Try to buy in bulk to eliminate unnecessary excess plastic packaging, too, and revisit your community's waste regulations to make sure you're not contaminating your recycling.

Each of us plays an integral role in solving the global plastic crisis—and it helps that we now have some of the world's biggest companies on board.

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