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A guide to beat plastic pollution

The times when we all pledged for a non-polluted country but would only sit and watch business as usual are now over. This guide will lead you through practical solutions we can all implement to beat plastic pollution.

Non- Government organizations and community groups

• Encourage companies and other organizations to eliminate single-use and/or short-lived plastic in the workplace, at home, and at meetings or events.
• Share ideas and research that can help reduce single-use plastic in local communities.
• Install (or push to install) free public water fountains at your office, public spaces and events to encourage people to avoid single-use plastic water bottles.
• Make sure your voice is heard. If you see a company using unnecessary plastic (such as single-use covering fruit at a grocery store), call them out or contact them directly.
• Let your money do the talking. If you have a retirement fund, you could be inadvertently investing in unsustainable industries. Ask your fund manager to move it to a more responsible fund.
• Share solutions when you find them. If you come across an innovative solution or hear about a start-up tackling plastic pollution, tell your friends and promote the initiative on social media.
• Volunteer with local plastic clean-up groups.
• Donate to charities that are working to solve the plastic pollution crisis.
• Shift your behaviour to avoid single-use plastic whenever possible.
• Bring your own bags to the grocery store; avoid purchasing over-packaged products.
• Purchase items with extended warranties that can be repaired and ensure you find a reliable recycler for when the product reaches its end of life.

Do not give up hope! Progress is being made and momentum is building. Everyone’s action on plastic pollution matters

Did you know? Approximately 12.5 million tonnes of plastic products are used in plant and animal production, and 37.3 million tonnes in food packaging per year.

Business and industries

• Design out waste by eliminating and substituting unnecessary and hazardous plastic production and packaging, especially single-use plastic.
• Reduce the amount of plastic waste produced throughout operations, particularly in manufacturing and packaging.
• Improve plastic design and production to ensure products are reusable, minimally resource-intensive and can be recycled effectively.
• Cut costs through more efficient use of plastic, develop new revenue streams through ‘closed-loop’ business models that recover plastic as a useful resource and win customers by demonstrating more sustainable products.
• Leverage emerging technologies to develop profitable solutions to plastic pollution that support environmental, social and governance goals.
• Disclose more information about how much plastic is used in products, including plastics produced annually, as well as the chemicals used in plastic.
• Ensure plastic-based textiles such as polyester used to make clothes are recycled and not thrown away.
• Switch from plastic to mulch films in farming and embrace nature-based solutions, such as cover crops, which protect soil from erosion, weeds and pests.