Technological watch

Greenpeace USA says plastics solutions from multinationals unsustainable

Greenpeace USA has released a new report which claims multinationals are ‘pretending’ to solve the plastics crisis.

Entitled ‘Throwing Away the Future: How Companies Still Have It Wrong on Plastic Pollution “Solutions”’, the paper warns consumers to be sceptical of the so-called solutions introduced by multinational corporations aimed at tackling plastic pollution.

The environment protection charity says that switching to paper or ‘bioplastics’ [sic], or embracing chemical recycling, are failing to move consumers away from single-use packaging and towards systems which prioritise refill and reuse.

“Despite the increasing scientific understanding of the irreversible damage plastic can cause to our environment and communities, plastic production is projected to dramatically increase in the coming years,” said Greenpeace USA senior research specialist Ivy Schlegel, author of the report.

“Multinational consumer goods companies continue to promote so-called sustainable alternatives that would put unacceptable pressures on natural resources such as forests and agricultural land, which have already been overexploited. To solve the plastic pollution crisis, companies need to rethink how products are delivered to consumers and invest significantly in reusable and refillable delivery systems.” 

Greenpeace USA’s report finds that chemical conversion “recycling” technologies offer false hope, while locking in demand for plastic packaging.

Further, companies have ‘obscured’ the true impacts of packaging behind confusing market terms, sustainability language, and industry alliances, hoping that consumers will continue to believe the false promise that plastic can be improved.

Greenpeace states that because a product is compostable, biodegradable or made from plants does not mean it is good for the environment, or will reduce plastic pollution.

Publication date: 04/10/2019

Plastic News Europe -Sustainability


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.