Burberry, H&M, L’Oreal And More Sign On To Address Global Plastic Crisis

The world’s plastic crisis is continuing to worsen—so much so that the UNEP estimates if current pollution rates continue, oceans will have more plastic than fish by the year 2050. As the issue becomes more and more dangerous to the environment, a growing list of companies are looking to become more sustainable in their operations—especially those in the fashion and beauty industries.

Just last week, Everlane announced plans to eliminate all virgin plastic from its supply chain by the year 2021. The sustainable fashion brand also launched a collection made from recycled plastic bottles. As of today, over 250 brands across an array of industries are also pledging to address the plastic crisis by signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

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Launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment aims to minimise plastic pollution through several initiatives across the globe. Burberry, L’Oreal, Stella McCartney, H&M, Inditex (which owns Zara), and Unilever (which owns Dove) are amongst the top fashion and beauty companies who have committed to the initiative.

“Plastic waste and pollution is a big global environmental challenge,” Cecilia Brännsten, environmental sustainability manager at H&M, said in a release from the brand. “There is no single brand that can tackle this industry-wide challenge on its own. We must act as one voice and the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is a big step in the right direction, as it will align business and governments on a common agenda and timeframe.

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The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment seeks to amend the plastic crisis in three major ways:

  1. Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models
  2. Innovate to ensure 100 per cent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025
  3. Circulate the plastic produced, by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products

Launched in collaboration with the United Nations Environment, the pledge has thus far been signed by organisations which represent 20 per cent of the world’s plastic packaging production. All companies that are part of the commitment will be required to publicly disclose progress in cutting back plastic consumption through the above initiatives every year.

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“Ocean plastic is one of the most visible and disturbing examples of a plastic pollution crisis. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is the most ambitious set of targets we have seen yet in the fight to beat plastics pollution. It sets out the steps businesses and governments must take if we are to find a solution to the root causes of plastic pollution and we urge all those working towards dealing with this global issue to sign it,” Executive Director Erik Solheim said in a release.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US