Environmental groups: Top companies fool consumers with ‘false solutions’ to plastic pollution

Environmental groups have called on consumer goods companies Monday to stop peddling “false solutions” to cover up continuous reliance on single-use plastic. The groups urged for the shift to business practices that enable reuse and refill methods.



The groups cited data from a new Greenpeace report exposing how multinational firms refuse to end single-use packaging and compound the problem by embracing false solutions.

These “false solutions” include switching to paper or bioplastics and mainstreaming chemical recycling.

The report, Throwing Away the Future: How Companies Still Have It Wrong on Plastic Pollution “Solutions,’”[ shows how multinational companies, such as Nestlé, Unilever, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble, continue to harm the environment.

These companies, the report said, use paper and crops-based bioplastics, which cause deforestation and threaten food security. Moreover, chemical recycling offers false hopes and a lock-in demand for plastic packaging.

‘Walking away’

“Filipinos have stepped up the call to end plastic pollution, but big brands are walking away by substituting single-use plastic for another throw-away material,” said Abigail Aguilar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Regional Campaign Coordinator.

“Instead of immediately ending their risky business systems, they continue, and even increase, manufacturing products wrapped in disposable packaging,” she added.

She noted that some small companies have started to venture into small businesses that promote reuse and refill.

“We ask these companies to do the same as they have the means to invest heavily in systems that prioritize reuse.”

Earlier this year, Nestle and Unilever have launched waste recovery programs for consumers, as well as announced intentions to make their packaging recyclable and compostable. Both companies are among the top sources of plastic pollution in the country.

Nestle and Unilever, however, continue to dodge the call for reuse and refill systems. They failed to set plans to phase-out single-use production.

“We are being lulled into complacency by token commitments and solutions that are unproven, expensive, unjust, and comes with high ecological and health costs. The first order of business is to stop investing in the plastic industry,” said Beau Baconguis, Asia Pacific Coordinator for Break Free From Plastic.



Greenwashing

The environmental groups warned consumers and regulators against greenwashing by these fast-moving consumer goods corporations.

These companies wanted the people to embrace “a throw-away culture since they are profiting so much from it.”

“That is why our government should not be fooled and instead legislate a total nationwide ban on single-use packaging to force these plastic polluters to set clear and efficient actions for phasing out plastic,” said Jove Benosa, zero-waste campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition. (Greenpeace/ Featured Image: Pixabay)

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