The figure – equivalent to about 200,000 bottles a minute or 108bn 500ml bottles a year – was supplied to sustainability charity the Ellen Macarthur Foundation as part of its New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Report, in the hope to end the secrecy surrounding businesses’ plastic footprint.
CCC was one of 31 businesses that publicly disclosed the amount of plastic packaging they produce each year. The list also included Unilever, Nestlé and Mars. In total, these 31 businesses produced more than 8m tonnes of plastic annually.
Refused to disclose
However, a majority of the 150 companies signing the commitment refused to reveal their own figures, including PepsiCo, The Kellogg Company and Marks & Spencer.
Signatories to the report pledged to several sustainability commitments, with the key commitment to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging by 2025 – echoing the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s own Courtauld Commitment.
New Plastics Economy lead Sander Defruyt said: “The targets and action plans set out in this report are a significant step forward compared with the pace of change of past decades. However, they are still far from truly matching the scale of the problem, particularly when it comes to the elimination of unnecessary items and innovation towards reuse models.
Global plastic pollution
“Ambition levels must continue to rise to make real strides in addressing global plastic pollution by 2025 and moving from commitment to action is crucial. Major investments, innovations, and transformation programmes need to start now.”
Commenting on the report, coordinator of the UN Environment’s Marine and Coastal Ecosystems branch Lisa Svensson added: “UN Environment is delighted to be working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help turn the tide on plastic pollution. Within just a few months of the launch of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, we have seen important progress.
“The Foundation's work to create a circular economy for plastic aligns very well with our Clean Seas campaign, which has become the biggest global compact addressing marine plastic.”