As world leaders gather in Bali, Indonesia for the fifth-annual Our Ocean conference, the growing threat of plastic pollution to our oceans takes the global stage. Today, a group of more than 250 companies announced recycling and circular economy commitments as the solution to plastic waste, but Oceana says, “recycling and vague promises are not enough to solve the plastics crisis.”
Oceana’s chief policy officer Jacqueline Savitz released this statement following today’s announcement:
“I hesitate to even call today’s corporate announcements a step in the right direction. Plastic pollution has grown into a major global crisis for our oceans, and it threatens our health. To have an impact, these companies must reduce the amount of single-use plastic at the source – in the factory – before it gets to consumers. We need to move on from plastic bottles, bags, lids and yes, straws. Recent beach cleanups have found plastic waste from Danone, Indofood, Unilever and others on Indonesia’s beaches. Yet none of these companies have committed to stop using plastic, to stop putting plastic into consumer products, or to even offer consumers alternatives. So, Indonesia’s beaches, like so many others around the world, will continue to be dumping grounds for companies that produce consumer goods, and who have refused to think outside the plastic bottle and bag. It’s not rocket science. Our grandparents lived without plastic and these companies must discontinue their unnecessary use of plastic. Every company that signed the declaration should commit to a meaningful, time-bound and specific percent-reduction of the amount of plastic it is putting into the market, and to find alternative ways to package and deliver its products. A circular economy is a nice utopian idea, but this crisis is unfolding today, and we need to see meaningful commitments to end the plastics crisis these companies have created.”
To learn more about Oceana’s new campaign to stop plastic pollution, please visit www.oceana.org/plastics.