Reuse: Rethinking Packaging Report

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation outlines key reuse models for businesses and governments to engage with in efforts to address the plastic crisis. Key reuse models covered in the report include: refilling at home, refilling on the go, returning from home, and returning on the go. The report includes dozens of examples of reuse across sectors spanning home and personal care, transport packaging, grocery, beverages, cup solutions, and takeaway and ready meals.

As public expectations for corporate responsibility grow and an increasing number of businesses pledge to reduce plastic use, researchers publishing in the journal One Earth on November 18 detail how the world’s largest and most powerful companies’ focus on recycling rather than virgin plastic reduction makes their commitments less meaningful.

The study focused on the top 300 Fortune 500 companies and found that 72% had made a commitment to reducing plastic pollution. “Most of the commitments emphasize plastic recycling and commonly target general plastics,” write the authors, led by Zoie Taylor Diana, an environmental researcher at the Duke University Marine Laboratory. “They are important, but partial, solutions if we are to comprehensively address the plastic pollution problem.”

In this study, scientists US nationwide emissions of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) resulting from domestic use of laundry and dish detergent pods, corroborated by a nationwide, online consumer survey and a literature review of its fate within conventional wastewater treatment plants. They found that PVA pods do not “dissolve” as advertised. Instead, more than 75% of PVA plastic from the pods ultimately reaches the environment to cause pollution, threatening human and ecosystem health.

In this Open Access Government research report, learn how the COVID-19 pandemic worsened the plastic pollution crisis. Namely, it did this because people were driven to purchase single-use plastics they perceived as helping them to avoid cross-contamination, recycling initiatives became mismanaged or were shut down, lockdowns drove people to purchase takeaway food, and disposable plastic personal protective equipment (PPE) has been widely worn by people over the past several years.

Greenwashing: the business practice of falsifying or overstating the green credentials of a product, service or brand. Greenwashing tricks us into believing change is happening, when in reality it’s not.

Greenwashing is increasingly widespread, and on this microsite you’ll find examples from fashion, plastics and food. Greenwash.com was created by the Changing Markets Foundation, a non-profit formed to accelerate and scale up solutions to sustainability challenges by leveraging the power of markets.

Plastic is harmful to your health and to the Earth. If you want to find ways to reduce your use of plastic, the ReThink Plastic Guide has some helpful information and tips for you! In the ReThink Plastic Guide, you will learn:

• What you can do to make healthier choices
• How to reduce plastic use in food prep, serving, and storage
• How to choose alternatives to single-use, disposable plastic