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Promoting Good Governance.

Plastic Pollution: Less than 3 percent of polluters committed to migrating from single-use plastics – Report  

JUST less than three percent of world-renowned plastic polluters are truly committed to transiting from single-use plastics to reuse models championed by environmentalists across the world, Plastic Economy and Global Commitment Progress Report has said.

The report released in October noted that though, 43 of the signatories have developed active plastic reuse models, less than three percent of their packaging is actually reusable.

“Over a third of relevant signatories have active reuse pilots. However, less than 3% of signatories’ packaging is reusable today,” says the report.

“…reuse models still represent a minor part of the total packaged goods market today. Only 13% of larger signatories reported having reuse models in place across a ‘significant proportion’ of their portfolio. 36% reported that they are yet to start identifying reuse opportunities in their portfolio and less than 3% of the signatories’ packaging by weight is reported to be reusable.”

Top global producers and users of plastics according to the report include Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Procter and Gamble etc.

The global commitment is a coalition, representing among others over 200 businesses across the plastic packaging value chain – accounts for over 20 percent of the plastics used globally.

Its ambition is to fix plastic waste and pollution from the source, starting with packaging with a target set at 2025.

However, plastic pollution has severally been reported as dangerous to human existence and the environment.

Reports say toxic chemicals used to produce the non-degradable packaging item leach out toxins from the plastics, finding its way into the body system.

Aside, it reportedly spoils the groundwater, threatens wildlife, and attracts other pollutants to mention but few.

“Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other ailments.”

But the new report titled, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment signed by Andrew Morlet, the Chief Executive Officer of Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Inger Anderson, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) revealed that over $200 million commitment from five investors has been promised for the project.

“43 packaged goods companies, packaging producers and retailer signatories — 36% of the group — are currently engaged in testing and piloting reuse business models across different markets and product types.”

In the area of eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging, the report stated that 60 percent of the brands, retailers and packaging producers have eliminated or developed a concrete plan to phase-off the dangerous material from their portfolio.

For single-use straws, carrier bags and undetectable carbon black plastics, for instance, is reportedly approaching 70 percent, while for Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the proportion is as high as 79 percent.

Some of the government signatories numbering 11 in total are said to be implementing legal and/or fiscal measures to stimulate the phasing out of similar items including single-use bags, straws, and ePS; half of those reporting are using bans to stimulate their elimination, with some providing financial incentives for innovation and research into alternatives.

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