A new report by NGO Oceana has found a 10% point increase in reusable packaging could help eliminate over 1 trillion single use plastic bottles.
The report shows that it could prevent up to 153 billion containers from entering the world’s waterways.
The NGO highlights that as a percentage of global plastic sales over 75% is single-use packaging, whilst just 6.3% is reusable.
Oceana said global beverage industry leaders including the Coca-Cola company and PepsiCo have large reusable systems around the world and have pledged to increase the volume of packaging they sell in reusable packaging by 10 percentage points or more.
It calls on the companies to stick to their pledges and “fully commit to reuse over single use”.
It comes as recent research from scientists in China found that microplastics found in clouds could impact weather patterns.
Subscribe to Sustainability Beat for free
Oceana senior vice president Matt Littlejohn said: “We’ve spent too much time chasing circular fantasies while huge amounts of plastics continue to flood into our oceans.”
“We’ve estimated that a stack of the single-use plastic packaging used by the beverage sector alone could reach all the way to the sun and back.”
He added that more recycled content in bottles and tops “won’t topple this single use plastic tower”, and called on governments to “prioritise the expansion and re-establishment of reusable packaging systems instead.”
“By switching to this real circular solution, we can drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste that will end up in our oceans, in the bellies of whales and turtles and washed up on our beaches”.