Tax plastic polluters like Coca Cola & Nestlé and demand they half plastic production 2025

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During an epic four-month expedition tracking plastic pollution around South America and the Amazon, I (literally) recorded samples of rubbish every 100km, dived into dangerous rubbish dumps, located landfill sites and surveyed source-to-sea debris – so I have seen first-hand where the responsibility lies.

I expected to find a lot of plastic on my journey, but I am still deeply shocked by the sheer ubiquity of plastic pollution from global brands, even in the most remote places.

Clearly visible in this tsunami of disposable plastic were logos of multinational consumer brands. Along with many others, plastic waste from Coca Cola and Nestlé (two of the world’s top-three plastic polluters) turned up in our samples virtually everywhere.

These brands – with their throwaway products and packaging – are responsible for promoting and perpetuating our modern throwaway culture. They are driving mass production and overconsumption across the world, which in turn is overwhelming our planet with pointless plastic pollution.

A staggering 91% of the plastic waste ever discarded has either been incinerated, openly burnt, ended up in landfills, dumps, the oceans or the natural environment. Only 9% has been recycled globally. [1]

The time has come to place the responsibility where it truly lies – with the multinational corporations and plastics producers. The only solution is to call for a tax on single-use plastic producers and demand that they cut the amount they produce and sell by half by 2025 – without passing the cost on to the consumer.

The tax collected should be ring-fenced for investment in clean-up and clean water infrastructure projects, technical assistance towards reuse or circular economy solutions at home and abroad – and appropriate recycling facilities for residual exported plastic waste in receiving countries.

Please sign and share our #TaxPlasticPolluters petition to show your support to help stop plastic pollution at source. There is no time to waste.

The actions I’m urging government/multinational corporations to take:

  • Ban and phase-out all single-use plastics by 2025
  • Introduce a full Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) tax on single-use plastics by 2020
  • Make it compulsory for companies to disclose the number of single-use plastic products they produce and sell by 2020
  • Demand that companies reduce that amount by half, country by country, by 2025

[1] Geyer R et al (2017) ‘Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made’, Science Advances 3 (7).