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More Than 40 Companies Sign Onto Historic UK Plastics Pact
The pact, which officially launches today, is a groundbreaking alliance of companies, non-governmental organizations and governments working to transform packaging in the UK by 2025.
"We need to move away from a linear plastics economy, where we take, make and dispose of plastic, and towards a circular system where we keep plastic in the economy and out of the natural environment," the pact website reads.
Specifically, the pact sets out four targets to meet by that date:
- Ensure that 100 percent of packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
- Eliminate "unnecessary or problematic" single-use plastic packaging.
- Make sure that 70 percent of packaging is actually recycled or composted.
- Source 30 percent of packaging from recycled plastic.
The pact stands to make a difference, since major brands responsible for 80 percent of the UK's supermarket packaging—among them Coca-Cola, Nestlé and major UK grocery store Sainsbury's—have all signed on.
The pact is an initiative of WRAP, which seeks to work with businesses, governments and communities to use resources more sustainably.
It comes a week after the UK government overall has stepped up to fight plastic pollution in major ways. On April 18, the government announced plans to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and cotton-swabs containing plastic. On April 15, Prime Minister Theresa May pledged £61.4 million towards a Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance that seeks to rid the oceans of plastic pollution.
Individual UK companies have also taken a stand. For example, Costa, the country's largest coffee chain, pledged April 18 to recycle as many plastic-lined coffee cups as it sells.
But this new pact marks the first time businesses have united around such a goal.
"That is what makes the UK Plastics pact unique. It unites everybody, business and organization with a will to act on plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can," Wrap CEO Marcus Gover told The Independent.
Chile is expected to follow the pact's example later this year, The Independent reported.
However, environmental groups warned that, while the pact is encouraging, it won't be enough if government plans don't provide sufficient mechanisms to ensure companies honor their pledges.
Environmentalists have criticized May's 25-year environment plan, which seeks to eliminate plastic waste by 2042, among other goals, for not outlining any new laws to ensure its benchmarks are attained.
"The Plastic Pact is certainly a move in the right direction, however government measures are also needed to ensure everyone plays their part, and that these targets are actually met," Greenpeace UK senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge told The Independent.
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.