Businesses and Governments Failing to Meet Goals to Cut Plastic Pollution

Despite pledging to reduce their use of plastics, businesses and governments are failing to meet goals to cut plastic pollution. This, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s latest Global Commitment Report, which assesses the integrity of commitments to reduce plastic pollution that were made by 123 businesses and 17 governments five years ago in 2018. 

Reacting to the new report, “The Global Commitment Five Years In: Perspective on Progress“:

This report emphasizes the glaring mismatch between business and government efforts to address plastic pollution and the real solutions that are urgently needed. Instead of making “commitments” that hide and greenwash false solutions to plastic pollution, including “chemical” or “advanced” recycling, waste exports, and the idea of “circular” use of plastics, we need just, equitable, and truly circular systems of reuse, refill, repair, share, and regeneration, along with the stopping of future plastics production. All plastic is pollution, and plastics quite literally poison the circular economy, not to mention our bodies and planet—from the moment plastics’ fossil fuel ingredients are extracted to plastics’ eventual disposal in the environment, incinerators, and landfills. The longer that companies and governments delay real solutions so that they can continue to profit from plastic pollution, the worse the impacts of plastic pollution will be on people and the planet. Plastic pollution is a planetary emergency for human health, social justice, the climate, the environment, and wildlife.

— Julia Cohen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Plastic Pollution Coalition

Take Action

It’s clear that voluntary actions to end plastic pollution are failing to address the scale and timeline necessary to avoid the very worst outcomes for people and the planet. People living on the fencelines of the plastic and fossil fuel industries’ are already facing extreme hazards and injustices. The time for action is now: We need a legally binding, global agreement that requires governments and companies to actually make change. With the United Nations (UN) Global Plastics now being negotiated, we have the opportunity to create such an agreement.

The evidence is clear: Plastic pollution harms everything, and everyone. Make your voice heard, and tell world leaders we need a strong UN Plastics Treaty:

We also encourage you to put extra pressure on the government of the United States, the world’s biggest plastic-polluting nation, and exporter of plastic waste, to take a stronger stance on the UN Plastics Treaty:


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To Stop Plastic Pollution