“Plastic pollution is a global challenge that does not respect borders — it litters our streets, accumulates in our landfills and contaminates our rivers and oceans.” So said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement issued earlier this month for World Environment Day. With social media campaigns like #StrawlessSummer and #BeatPlasticPollution picking up steam, and an increasing number of environmental groups demanding action from government and the private sector, the banning of single-use plastics is at the forefront of discussions on how to resolve the world’s plastic problem. Ahead of any meaningful policy action by the leaders of the developed world, some companies and communities are taking the initiative and going plastic-free.
On June 7, American Express announced a collaboration with Parley, an American organization dedicated to combating marine plastic pollution, to create a new American Express card made primarily from recovered plastic debris found in the oceans and on coastlines. In addition to the new card (set to launch publicly within the next 12 months), American Express has pledged to follow Parley’s environmental philosophy by looking at ways to end the use of virgin plastic in its products and phase out single-use plastic straws and coffee stirrers in its major offices and sponsored airport lounges.
On the same day as the American Express announcement, Ikea pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic products by 2020 across its 29 retail markets, including Ikea Canada locations. In addition, Ikea will design new home furnishings made only with renewable and recyclable materials, and will stop manufacturing and selling single-use plastic straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, garbage bags and plastic-coated paper plates and cups. Likewise, in Ikea restaurants and cafes, the company will eliminate the aforementioned single-use plastics and will increase the proportion of plant-based food choices (such as veggie dogs) in an effort to further reduce their emissions.
Recycling Council of Ontario
In May 2018 RCO co-authored a joint letter with sister organizations to Canada’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change addressing plastic waste. Read more
In June 2018 we announced the winners of the Plastic Bag Grab Challenge, our annual youth education program where schools are challenged to build awareness on plastic and plastic waste in their communities through curriculum-based resources. Read more