Plastic, once a modern day miracle, has fast become public enemy number one as the growing demand for these products has created a serious waste problem around the world. This has prompted activist groups to turn their attention to consumer goods companies as the cause of the problem.
Research has shown that much of the plastic currently produced is ending up in the ocean with conservation organisation the Ocean Conservancy estimating that as much as 150 million metric tons of plastics are currently circulating in the world’s oceans.
To add insult to injury the organisation notes that humans are estimated to add another 8 million metric tons of plastics to the ocean every year.
Consumer goods companies under fire
These shocking statistics have led global activist groups to turn up the heat on consumer goods companies, like Procter & Gamble and Coca Cola, for filling up the ocean with plastic.
Consumer goods CEOs felt the heat in Davos last week with activist groups calling on governments to regulate consumer goods companies closely.
Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan told Reuters after a heated exchange with Procter & Gamble boss David Taylor: “I see parallels to coal.” “It’s clear they are trying to not be regulated,” she added.
Closing the gaps
Meanwhile consumer goods CEOs vowed to do right by the world’s oceans and cut their use of plastic packaging through multitude of initiatives launched at the forum. Some of which include closing the gaps in the current collection and recycling systems.
According to a report by the Eunomia, 80% of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from land-based sources, so a commitment from consumer goods companies to help close the gap in current collection and recycling systems could help bring this number down.