A coalition of the world’s largest plastic producers announced they will put $1.5 billion into waste management and other programs to clean up plastic pollution. While the industry is touting this initiative as the answer to the global plastic pollution crisis, Oceana panned it as another distraction from the real solution: Companies need to reduce the production of single-use plastics.
Oceana’s chief policy officer Jacqueline Savitz released this statement following today’s announcement:
“The industry coalition’s promise to solve the plastic pollution crisis with waste management and cleanup is a nice dream, but it’s not sufficient to solve the plastic problem. Companies like Procter and Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola must take responsibility to reduce the amount of single-use plastics they’re pumping into commerce by adopting alternative packaging for their products.
We are at a pivotal moment in the plastic pollution crisis. The insistence on generating and using more plastic is not sustainable. Plastic-filled bellies of marine birds, sea turtles and fish tell us that this has gone way too far. There is no end in sight. Companies must commit to significantly cut unnecessary plastics use soon. Continuing to bank on waste-management solutions that have failed in the past as justification for increasing production is a mistake that risks both ocean health and public health. This is not the time to put the fate of our oceans or our health into a hoped-for management solution, when we know reducing use is a surefire way to reduce pollution.
Companies that make and use single-use plastic need to act now by prioritizing the only guaranteed tool — plastics use reduction — and consumers should demand that these companies turn the tide by significantly scaling back their unnecessary use of single-use plastic. It’s time for those responsible for the problem to stop dreaming and start reducing.”