Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental problems the planet is facing.
Breaking the Plastic Wave, a global analysis that uses unique modeling, found that the amount of plastic in the market will double, the annual amount of plastic released into the oceans nearly tripled, and the amount of plastic released into the oceans will almost triple every year Plastic stocks in the oceans will quadruple by 2040 if we don't act.
Fortunately, steps are being taken.
Last month, leading companies, NGOs and governments from across the plastics supply chain in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands joined forces behind the ANZPAC Plastics Pact (ANZPAC).
The ambitious new program aims to change our response to plastic. ANZPAC members will work towards four clear, actionable goals by 2025:
- Eliminate "unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging" through redesign, innovation and alternative (reuse) delivery models.
- Make 100 percent of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable.
- The 25 percent increase in plastic packaging collected and effectively recycled for each region within the ANZPAC region.
- An average of 25 percent recycled content in plastic packaging in the entire region.
Founding members and supporters of ANZPAC include The Arnott’s Group, Asahi Beverages, Coca-Cola South Pacific, Colgate Palmolive, ecostore, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Pepsico ANZ and Unilever, as well as retailers ALDI, Coles and Woolworths.
While many in the industry have welcomed the pact, the Boomerang Alliance of 53 NGOs warns that due to the voluntary nature of the pact, this is not the most important step that is required.
Jeff Angel, director of the Boomerang Alliance, says if all required actions are not in place by mid-2022 – and an independent review is not convinced that all goals can be achieved – all goals should be set by early 2023.
“This gives us three years to achieve our goals – that is, to change product design and content; invest in new processing; and bring it to market, ”he said.
Read more about sustainability and how the industry deals with plastic waste in the June issue of Retail World.