Corporate Heavyweights Sign a Pact to Reduce Plastic Usage and Save The Planet
By now we are all aware of how plastic waste is harming our planet. From global warming to disturbing the ecology, the plastic that we produce is slowly but surely killing our planet. There has been much debate about this issue on the global scale for years now but little in terms of positive action to reduce plastic waste has been done. In a welcome and rather surprising move, nearly 60 major corporate companies including retail giants such as Nestle, Unilever, and Woolworths have signed a pact to reduce the plastic waste they produce. Here are the major takeaways of this environmental act:
- The regions that this pact covers include New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
- More than 60 corporations are a part of this pact as of now. Several multinational companies like Unilever, Arnott’s Biscuits, Woolworth’s, and Nestle are also included.
- The name of the pact is ANZPAC Plastics Pact. Companies that are a part of this pact will need to abide by its guidelines till 2025.
- The goal of this pact is to dramatically reduce plastic waste in both packaging and products. These companies will strive to move towards a more sustainable model by adopting compostable, recyclable, and reusable plastics.
- Each company will be given a target that they will have to achieve by 2025. The main target is to use 100% recyclable plastic packaging.
- The businesses that are included in this pact will also try to recycle at least 25% of the plastic waste that they produce each year.
This is a great step towards reducing and ultimately nullifying the harm that is being done to the environment due to plastic waste. Two-thirds of all the plastic waste in Australia is already recyclable but the problem seems to lie in the recycling infrastructure of the country as just 13% of this recyclable plastic is actually recovered. This means that improvements in the recycling infrastructure are also necessary. This is not the only deal of its kind as there are at least 10 other similar pacts that have been signed by other countries around the world as well. Just a few years ago, this problem of plastic waste was largely being ignored by large corporations and governments around the world. So, these pacts are indicators of a general shift of mindset regarding the problem of plastic waste. Major companies and governments around the world are finally starting to take this issue seriously and work towards improving the current situation. This is a much appreciated and welcomed act but this is just the beginning of a long journey towards creating a more sustainable and greener planet. The harm that has already been done to our planet will take some time to heal but it is only possible if we act fast. Let’s hope that this pact brings about the change that we so desperately need to save our planet.
Why It Is Important to Reduce Plastic Waste?
There are 4 main reasons why reducing plastic waste should be our collective top priority right now. It is causing harm to us and our planet at an unimaginable scale. People often don’t understand the full extent of why it is crucial that we recycle plastic and reduce plastic waste as much as we can. Let’s take a look at the 6 reasons why it is important to reduce plastic waste and how it is going to benefit us:
- CO2 Emissions – Plastic production and transportation are some of the biggest contributors to global CO2 emissions. Making plastic is a big industrial process that requires a lot of power and resources all of this leads to a massive amount of CO2 emission in the atmosphere. This harms the environment contributing to global warming and the disruption of wildlife ecology. Once the plastic is manufactured then the problem becomes to dispose of it when it has been used. The most popular method is to put it in landfills. This takes up precious space that can be used more productively otherwise. Less plastic means less CO2 emissions.
- Natural Resources – The production process of plastic as we mentioned earlier is a laborious process, it requires a lot of natural resources such as oil, water, coal, and natural gas. Plastic production is taking a major toll on the number of natural resources that we have. We are burning more and more fossil fuels to produce plastic. At the current rate, we will run out of the natural resources of our planet within the next 50 years. By lowering the rate of plastic production, we can save a lot of natural resources. If we recycle the plastic that we produce, we can reduce the usage of natural resources used to create new plastic by as much as 40%.
- Pollution – Plastic waste and the production of plastic pollutes air, water, and the soil. The industrial process that is used to create plastic also produces a lot of harmful by-products that are released into the air, the landfills that are used to dispose of plastic waste contaminate the soil and the plastic waste that is disposed of in the oceans and seas contaminates the water. So, the plastic that we produce is harming both us and the planet at every level.
- Human lives – As a result of plastic production and disposal, we have contaminated nearly everything with microplastics. They are in the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, and the food that we eat. We are consuming plastics without even knowing it. There is a tremendous amount of toxic chemicals in plastics. Plastics are not made for human consumption and consuming them can lead to several health complications. Millions of people unknowingly suffer from health problems caused by microplastics. The reduction in the production of plastics and an increase in the recycling of the existing plastics that we have can help get rid of the problem of microplastics.
How can you play your part?
While governments and big corporations around the world need to acknowledge the problem of plastic waste and work towards reducing it, people also need to play their part in eliminating plastic waste. It is global problem that affects everyone on this planet and if every individual starts to play their part, then we can overcome this problem in no time. Here is what you can do to play your part in getting rid of the problem of plastic waste:
- Say no to disposable plastics – More than 90% of the plastic products that we use in our daily lives are single-use. Plastic bags, wrappers, straws, etc. If we boycott single-use plastic products, then we can reduce plastic waste by as much as 40%. There are so many alternatives to single-use plastic products now available on the market that it has become feasible to say no to disposable plastics.
- Bottled water – Did you know that more than 20 billion plastic water bottles are thrown in the dumpsters every year? This is not an insignificant number. These plastic bottles are going to end up in a landfill or the ocean where they will pollute the soil and the water. The responsible thing to do is to start using reusable water bottles and reduce our consumption of bottled water. If you are not confident about the quality of tap water in your area, then having a water filter installed in your house is a very reasonable solution.
- Recycled products – In many ways, the problem of plastic waste has reached this point because of a lack of recycling. Most plastics can be recycled. But people often don’t want to buy products that are made with recycled plastics. Recycled plastics are of the same quality as new plastic and they help reduce plastic waste So, you can play your part in solving the problem of plastic waste by recycling yourself and buying recycled plastic products.
- Speak – And last but not least, you should educate yourself and others around you on the impact of plastic waste on our planet. This is the perfect way to pressure governments around the world to take action against plastic waste. Knowledge is power. The more you know about the problem, the better you will be able to advocate for a solution. If we want people to take the problem of plastic waste more seriously then we need to speak up and tell them how it might be affecting them.
So, there you have it. This new pact is a welcome change in the structure of big corporations and their carbon footprint on our planet. Let’s hope that this trend continues and by 2025 we reduce plastic waste all over the planet. We hope that you find this article helpful. Let us know your thoughts down in the comments section.