Corporate Insistence On Single-Use Plastics & Protecting The Environment
Corporations all over the world need to make a choice — are they going to commit to a future in which reliance on fossil fuel-based plastics is only a memory? Or are they going to continue to contribute to the 300 million tons of plastics produced every year, half of which is for single use? Loud investments in R&D to investigate future alternatives to plastics is a weak starting point, more public relations than practical reform. Our planet depends on corporations eliminating single-use plastics from all packaging — now.
Understanding the Complexity of Plastics
Yes, many of us have adopted circular consumer approaches. We’ve given up plastic bags. We skip straws, pass up plastic bottles, avoid plastic packaging, recycle, and don’t litter.
But are corporations really doing what they can to reduce plastics?
Nodding to consumer environmental concerns but perpetuating harmful practices is becoming the corporate norm. Last year, only 5 Fortune 500 Global companies made biodiversity commitments that could be considered specific, measurable, and time-bound. The main source of synthetic plastics is crude oil. Coal and natural gas are also used to produce plastics. Petrol, paraffin, lubricating oils, and high petroleum gases are bi-products produced during the refining of crude oil.
We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use, and just producing plastic uses huge resources – it takes around 12 million barrels of oil to make the 100 billion plastic bags used annually in the US alone.
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