Refill Again

Oceana analyzed forecasted packaging market and aquatic plastic pollution data and determined that just a 10-percentage point increase in reusable packaging by 2030 can eliminate over 1 trillion single-use plastic bottles and cups. This shift has the potential to prevent up to 153 billion of these containers from entering the world’s oceans and waterways. To put this in perspective, 1 trillion plastic bottles and cups stacked on top of each other would result in a single-use plastic tower that would reach to the moon and back over 300 times.

Most importantly, this 10-percentage point increase is clearly possible. The world’s leading soft drink companies, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo, have large existing reusable packaging systems and have already pledged to increase the volume of beverages they sell in reusable packaging by 10 percentage points. It is imperative for both companies, which have a history of not meeting commitments, to follow through and for other beverage companies to step up.

The sheer volume of plastic used to sell beverages is staggering and requires real solutions. Oceana estimates that in 2022, the global population used the equivalent of 1.5 trillion single-use plastic bottles and cups, and that up to 168 billion of these containers will become pollution in aquatic systems. A study published in the journal Nature Sustainability in 2021 found that plastic bottles were the second most common litter item found in surveys across seven aquatic environments globally.

An estimated 242 million metric tons of plastic waste is generated globally every year, polluting our cities and our bodies and clogging the oceans. Plastic pollution has been linked to everything from infertility and cancer in humans to severe injury and death in wildlife. Unfortunately, the United States is one of the top generators.

We will never put an end to the plastics crisis without reducing the amount of plastic and toxic additives we put into the world. We should start by immediately phasing out the production and use of plastic polymers, chemical additives, and the types of plastic products that pose the greatest hazards and/or are unnecessary. For uses or functions of plastic that are currently essential, we must transition to safer materials.

This fact sheet provides a list of high-priority plastic targets that must be immediately phased out. These plastics, additives, and products pose significant hazards to human health and the environment, are difficult to recycle and/or interfere with mechanical recycling systems, and/or are purely unnecessary.

The Global Plastic Laws Database is the most extensive tool to date to research, track, and visualize plastic legislation that has been passed around the world. The Database tracks legislation across the full life cycle of plastics and organizes these policies according to life cycle categories and key topics. Adopting policies to reduce plastic pollution on a global scale is widely recognized as a vital step to address this crisis and its associated detrimental impacts on our communities, health, and environment. 

Recognizing the impacts of plastics throughout its full life cycle, this database is organized into nine topics: Design and Reuse, Extended Producer Responsibility, Maritime Sources, Microplastics, Production and Manufacturing, Reduction, Transparency and Traceability, Waste Management, and Waste Trade.

The Global Plastic Laws Database is updated regularly, providing a way to monitor and identify emerging trends, solutions, and policy innovations at local, national, and international levels.

Much of what you’ve heard about plastic pollution may be wrong. Instead of a great island of trash, the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of manmade debris spread over hundreds of miles of sea—more like a soup than a floating garbage dump. Recycling is more complicated than we were taught: less than nine percent of the plastic we create is reused, and the majority ends up in the ocean. And plastic pollution isn’t confined to the open ocean: it’s in much of the air we breathe and the food we eat.  

In Thicker Than Water: The Quest for Solutions to the Plastic Crisis, journalist Erica Cirino brings readers on a globe-hopping journey to meet the scientists and activists telling the real story of the plastic crisis. From the deck of a plastic-hunting sailboat with a disabled engine, to the labs doing cutting-edge research on microplastics and the chemicals we ingest, Cirino paints a full picture of how plastic pollution is threatening wildlife and human health. Thicker Than Water reveals that the plastic crisis is also a tale of environmental injustice, as poorer nations take in a larger share of the world’s trash, and manufacturing chemicals threaten predominantly Black and low-income communities.  

There is some hope on the horizon, with new laws banning single-use items and technological innovations to replace plastic in our lives. But Cirino shows that we can only fix the problem if we face its full scope and begin to repair our throwaway culture. Thicker Than Water is an eloquent call to reexamine the systems churning out waves of plastic waste. 

A practical guide to help business leaders identify circular opportunities and design business models that create, deliver and capture value. Focused on the circular economy, this guide provides steps and templates for businesses to navigate opportunities to minimize waste and maximize value. Created by PA Consulting in conjunction with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and University of Exeter.

Millions of people around the world have taken action to stop plastic pollution, and momentum is building! Soon, world leaders will gather to start negotiating a global plastics treaty—and we need to make sure it will be strong.

When representatives gather in Nairobi in late February for the Fifth Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2), the decisions they make will set the stage for how a new global plastics treaty will develop going forward. This is a critical moment to tell world leaders to support the Peru-Rwanda resolution. This resolution is the best foundation we have for a global plastics treaty that will cover the whole life cycle of plastics.

Add your name to tell world leaders to support a legally binding global treaty on plastic pollution that addresses the entire life cycle of plastics, including extraction, production, transport, use, disposal and remediation.

Sign now, and share this urgent call to action with your friends!