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.

In the journal Nature, journalist Tosin Thompson interviews experts making strong recommendations for the global Plastics Treaty addressing pollution, and recycling, social and health implications.

Sowing a Plastic Planet: How Microplastics in Agrochemicals Are Affecting Our Soils, Our Food, and Our Future exposes the growing use of microplastics in agrochemical products, the industry’s promotion of this practice, and its threats to human health and the environment. It concludes that, in the face of known risks and the significant probability that plastic-coated fertilizers and pesticides only add to existing harm from toxic chemicals and microplastic, their production and use should be banned.

In the journal Science, experts on plastic pollution come together to strongly recommend that the global Plastics Treaty “cover all issues of plastics chemicals as an inseparable part” of the plastic crisis. In their paper, they outline the complex chemistry of plastics, and advocate for redefinition of plastic additives as the toxic chemicals they are, and plastics themselves as complex chemical mixtures.

Learn how to repair, donate, and shop second-hand household items with Reuse DC, a platform that helps foster and facilitate reuse, repair, sharing, and other zero-waste behaviors and habits. Reuse DC is the District’s hub for learning where to repair, donate, and shop second-hand household items. Search the online directory, explore how to exchange items with your neighbors, learn about the importance of food recovery, and more!

Manila — The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Nestlé come in as the world’s top plastic polluters for five years running, according to Break Free From Plastic’s latest global brand audit report. The 2022 Brand Audit analyzes five years’ worth of citizen science trash-collection data, exposing how corporate voluntary commitments are not effectively reducing these companies’ devastating environmental impacts. In response, activists around the world are calling for a Global Plastics Treaty that can provide legally-binding mechanisms and enforcement policies to effectively reduce the amount of plastic both produced and used by corporations.  

Since 2018, global cleanups have been carried out by more than 200,000 volunteers in 87 countries and territories to identify the companies polluting the most places with the most plastic waste. Over all five years, more Coca-Cola Company branded items were collected than the next two top polluters combined. This year’s brand audits found more than 31,000 Coca-Cola branded products, doubling the proportion of Coca-Cola products found in 2018. These findings are revealed as the top polluter is serving as a sponsor of the UN climate change conference COP27 in Egypt. Given that 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels, Coca-Cola’s role in COP27 baffles environmental activists.

Today, in response to corporate inaction, activists worldwide are commemorating a 5-year “Trashiversary” for these companies by mailing or delivering their own waste to them to demand urgent action. The actions are taking place today, targeting Coca-Cola in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, the US, and Zambia; Unilever in Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa; and PepsiCo in India and Tanzania.

In 2018, the same year that Brand Audits efforts started, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme together launched the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. This program centered on a set of voluntary commitments to address plastic pollution made by major fast-moving consumer goods companies, including most of the top plastic polluters. However, the Global Commitment 2022 Progress Report revealed that their 2025 targets will “almost certainly” not be met. For many of these companies, the use of plastic packaging has actually increased since joining the Global Commitment, exposing how voluntary actions are not leading to any kind of significant impact on plastic reduction.