World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

filtered by category: Plastic

  • Date: 07 December 2022

The future of the plastic waste crisis will be determined by the actions the world takes today to address it. Some of the world’s largest brands—and users of single-use plastic—have gotten started, by setting time-bound commitments to reduce their plastic waste footprints. If met, many of these targets can help prevent upwards of 50M metric tons of plastic waste by 2030*.

It's crucial, for both people and the planet, that these companies succeed. WWF launched ReSource: Plastic in 2019 with the purpose of closing the “how” gap for success, equipping companies with the latest data and insights they need to take actions that maximize the potential for impact. Through an innovative measurement framework, ReSource helps companies translate their ambitious commitments into meaningful, measurable progress on plastic waste reduction.

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  • Date: 17 November 2022
  • Author: Erin Simon

Take a moment and look around. How many single-use plastic items can you spot?

No matter where you are, single-use plastic isn’t far behind – whether it’s a shopping bag, food packaging or even a bottle of medication. And more likely than not, many of these items will end up contributing to the 11 million tons of plastic pollution that enter our oceans every year.

Consumption of single-use plastic has exploded in recent years, creating a global crisis that impacts nature, people, and the climate. To reduce this stress, we need to start by reducing how many resources we take from the planet– and just as importantly, start valuing the resources we already have in circulation. That’s where reuse systems come in.

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  • Date: 15 November 2022

On America Recycles Day 2020, the United States announced a target recycling rate of 50% by 2030. It’s an impressive goal, and there’s a lot of work to be done to get there. Just two years into that goal, not enough progress has been made. With about 22,000 municipalities managing their own recycling systems, we need national ambition and consistent action to change the way we recycle.

That’s why OneSource Coalition is putting Extended Producer Responsibility—also known as EPR—at the forefront of today's America Recycles Day 2022.

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  • Date: 13 September 2022

WWF’s multi-stakeholder forum, Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA), works to help advance the responsible development of plant-based, or “biobased” plastics. In this interview series, we hear how members of the BFA are practically applying responsibly sourced biobased plastic as a strategy for circularity.

The LEGO Group’s Maria Rosenberger Petersen, Senior Environmental Sustainability Specialist, shares how and why her company is incorporating biobased plastic into their materials strategy.

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  • Date: 19 May 2022
  • Author: Erin Simon, Head of Plastic Waste and Business

Even in times of great political divide and international conflict, moments of global resolution are possible. Just a few months ago on March 2 at the UN General Assembly (UNEA 5.2), 175 world leaders courageously found common ground on a plan to tackle one of the planet's most pressing issues: plastic waste.

In the historic moment marked by the knock of a gavel and a roar of applause, UN member states unanimously voted in favor of establishing a legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution – and one that will be developed under an accelerated timeline to be finalized as soon as 2024.

This first major step to put a treaty in motion took more than seven years. Because while there are many ongoing large-scale efforts to mitigate plastic waste, the reality is that no international issue can be effectively addressed without a global framework to support it.

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  • Date: 12 May 2022

WWF’s multi-stakeholder forum, Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA), works to help advance the responsible development of plant-based, or “biobased” plastics.

In this new interview series, we’ll hear how members of the BFA are practically applying responsibly sourced biobased plastic as a strategy for circularity.

Berry Global’s Rob Flores, Vice President Sustainability, shares how his company is leveraging biobased content in its unique role as a packaging solutions provider.

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  • Date: 08 April 2022

Biodegradable and compostable plastic is becoming a more frequent option on store shelves as the demand for “green” products grows. Given the fact that a dump truck’s worth of plastic waste enters our oceans each minute, it’s not surprising that people are looking to use their purchasing power in ways that will presumably leave a smaller footprint.

The growing trend in plastic use is fueled by the assumption that if a product or its packaging is labeled as “biodegradable” or “compostable,” then it must be the more sustainable option. Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case.

As the production of biodegradable plastics jumps from 1.5M metric tons to almost 5.3M in the coming years, understanding exactly how these materials are helping—or hurting—the environment is critical.

Let’s break down some of the common questions that can help clarify what biodegradable and compostable plastic mean for the environment:

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  • Date: 15 February 2022
  • Author: Alix Grabowski, Director, Plastic and Material Science, WWF

We all know that plastic waste is a global crisis, but how often do you think about where plastic comes from?

Of all new plastic, 99% is made from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, meaning the plastic that we use today starts trashing our planet long before it becomes trash. From the moment they’re made, these conventional plastics are contributing to climate change, degrading habitats, and threatening communities around the world.

Reducing, reusing, and recycling plastic are priority first steps in addressing the plastic crisis, but we cannot rely on these tactics alone. We will always need some new plastic to fill critical health and safety needs, but that new plastic does not need to be made from fossil fuels.

Plant-based plastic—also known as bioplastic or biobased plastic—comes from sources like algae, sugarcane, or used cooking oil, and can de-couple plastic production from the impacts of fossil fuels. However, plant-based plastic must be thoughtfully designed to build environmental, social, and economic resilience across ecosystems and communities. Over a decade ago, WWF realized that plant-based plastic and its sourcing was a cross-cutting issue that affected the habitats, wildlife, and people that we aim to protect. We convened the Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) in 2012 to advance knowledge on this critical and complex topic and ensure that plant-based plastic reaches its potential to benefit nature and people.

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  • Date: 08 February 2022

Following the release of WWF's ReSource: Plastic Transparent 2021 report, we sat down with Lisa Morden, Vice President of Safety, Sustainability & Occupational Health at Kimberly-Clark, to discuss the company's involvement in the ReSource program, the importance of transparency, plus the greatest challenges and most promising solutions to the plastic waste crisis. 

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  • Date: 08 December 2021
  • Author: Erin Simon, Head of Plastic Waste and Business

Transparency is a critical piece to any corporate sustainability journey, as it raises the bar for accountability which in turn accelerates action. And for the plastic waste crisis, when corporate transparency is paired with cross-sector collaboration, we break down silos and unlock access to new data that sheds light into where and how companies can make the most impact on plastic pollution.

That’s why in 2019, WWF set out to find a way to expand transparency around plastic waste by launching ReSource: Plastic to ask – how can companies really make a difference on plastic waste? With the release of Transparent 2021, our second annual report from the ReSource program, we’re starting to be able to answer that question and it’s helping us fill in that “how” gap.

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