Reducing Plastic Waste

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Reducing Plastic Waste

Nelymar Zayas, Staff Writer

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The alliance to end plastic waste is made up of 26 companies—Proctor & Gamble, ExxonMobil, Dow, Mitsubishi Chemical holdings, to name a few. Throughout the next 5 years, the AEPW (alliance to end plastic waste) is set to have contributed a total of $1.5 billion to the cleaning of plastic wastes and to the overall reduction of their impact on our planet. The chairman of the AEPW, David Taylor, who is both CEO and president of Proctor & Gambles, is encouraging small companies to join the alliance in order to increase diversity and include more variety since it is currently only made up of big-name companies. The inclusion of smaller-name companies could not only increase the audience they will appeal to, but make them look more legitimate and serious about their commitments in the eyes of those who are doubting them. 

The criticism that the AEPW is receiving comes to play and makes sense once you take a closer look at the companies who are a part of this alliance. Many are large contributors to the plastic production and pollution that they say they are trying to help minimize. They are commonly accused of ‘greenwashing’ by social media, meaning that theyre making a misleading claim to make them appear much more environmentally friendly then they truly are. John Hite, an employee from the Conservation Law Foundation, a zero-waste project, commented that it’s “funny how the single most effective method for reducing plastic waste, reducing plastic production, is not is not on the short list of solutions for ‘The Alliance to End Plastic Waste’”. The AEPW stated that the investments they are making are in infrastructure, innovation, education and engagement, and clean up. Nowhere on this list is there reduction, the leading cause for why there is so much plastic in our oceans and polluting our environment—there’s just too much plastic to begin with.

If the AEPW wishes to be taken more seriously on its journey to make the world a better place by reducing the world’s plastic pollution, it is not something that needs to be done with the alliance itself, but with the companies taking part in it. If they wish to be remotely successful on their mission, they need to cease being part of the root of the problem.