Plastic is a popular material used to make many products given its versatility and general low cost. But the large volumes and wide-spread use of plastic causes a big problem for our planet, sea life and wildlife when it’s thrown away.
Along with the sheer volume, most plastic isn't biodegradable. That means it doesn't decompose, like paper or food, so can remain in the environment for hundreds of years.
As part of our efforts to change the way we use plastics – and our long-term vision that product will generate zero plastic waste - we have signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.
This commitment aims to unite businesses, governments, and other organisations globally behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.
As part of this commitment, by 2025 we will phase out all problematic plastics in our merchandise.
The following list of criteria will be used to identify problematic and unnecessary plastic used in merchandise and packaging:
- It is not reusable, recyclable or compostable (as per the definitions below)
- It contains, or its manufacturing requires, hazardous chemicals that pose a significant risk to human health or the environment
- It can be avoided (or replaced by a reuse model) while maintaining utility
- It hinders or disrupts the recyclability or compostability of other items
- It has a high likelihood of being littered or ending up in the natural environment.
Our long-term target is that all the plastic used in our own brand merchandise is 100 per cent recyclable or compostable and that our own branded merchandise is made with 50 per cent recycled material on average by 2030.
We also have a significant program of work underway to transform how we use plastic in our packaging.
The techniques we will use include many noted under our Circular Economy program.
*Compostable (and biodegradable) plastics can be decomposed by the action of living organisms, usually microbes, into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass.
**Plant-based plastics can be made from, for example, vegetable oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips,and food waste. They are an alternative to fossil-fuel based plastics, which are made from petroleum or natural gas.