Burberry, H&M, and Stella McCartney Make Major Environmental Pledge

by Charles Manning

Plastic pollution is a huge problem. HUGE! Micro plastics from synthetic fabrics have made their way into our food supply and are now lining our guts and it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050.

That’s why fashion heavy-hitters H&M, Burberry, and Stella McCartney are joining forces with companies like Walmart, Unilever, Coca Cola, and L’oréal to combat plastic pollution and signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. The Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment with the intent of creating a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste.

The current list of signatories includes companies representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally, as well as governments, NGOs, and industry organizations.

The commitment means adherence to six key points:

  1. Elimination of problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation, and new delivery models is a priority.
  2. Institution of reuse models are where relevant, reducing the need for single-use packaging.
  3. The exclusive use of plastic packaging that is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable
  4. All plastic packaging is reused, recycled, or composted in practice.
  5. The use of plastic is fully decoupled from the consumption of finite resources
  6. All plastic packaging is free of hazardous chemicals, and the health, safety, and rights of all people involved are respected.

Companies are obliged to publish their progress in these areas annually and targets will be reviewed every 18 months in the hope of ensuring 100 percent plastic packaging recyclability by 2025.


“We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year,” said Dame Ellen MacArthur, who announced the commitment at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali. “We need to move upstream to the source of the flow. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic.”

Honestly, change in this arena cannot come fast enough.

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