Brands including McDonald’s and P&G have reduced problematic plastics

Brands including McDonald’s, Procter and Gamble, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have made progress to reduce problematic plastics that contain hazardous chemicals, hinder or disrupt the recyclability or composability of other items, and/or have a high likelihood of leaking into the environment.

A new report by WWF analysed the plastic footprint of ReSource Members Amcor, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Keurig Dr Pepper, McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, and The Coca-Cola Company.

It found that problematic plastics made up 1.2% of the brands portfolios, which is less than half of the 3.2% in the 2018 baseline year.

Five brands – Amcore, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health, Dr Pepper and Starbucks – saw an overall reduction in their virgin fossil-based plastic tonnage from 2021 to 2022.

The rest increased their virgin fossil-based plastic tonnage by less than 10%, except Kimberly-Clark which saw a 21.8% increase.

WWF vice president of plastic waste and business Erin Simon said the brands are “ahead of the curve”, highlighting that reporting isn’t an “onerous or impossible” task.

“Their transparency enables lessons to be learned and actions to be taken that will reverberate across supply chains and industries worldwide,” Simon added.

“All companies should be reporting on their plastic footprint—something we are advocating for in the UN Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution.”

WWF emphasises that voluntary action to understand the scope of the problem through plastic reporting is the first step to addressing plastic pollution.

National and international policy action, through a legally binding Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution and Extended Producer Responsibility legislation, is critical to ensuring a future free of plastic waste, the organisation argued.

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