Welcome to the Plastics Weekly, NEO’s regular news monitoring of the plastics industry.
Every week, we publish a roundup of the top developments in plastics and sustainability – from regulatory changes to company news.
This week’s highlights:
- India has become the latest country to impose a ban on most single-use plastics, part of a growing but patchy global effort to tackle a leading source of pollution. Now, the manufacture, sale or import of widely used items including plastic cutlery, ice cream sticks, and film on cigarette packs and candy boxes are banned. Plastic bags, another major pollutant, are not on the list for now, but the government has mandated an increase in thickness to make them easier to reuse. Some plastic packaging used for consumer food products will be excluded from the ban, but manufacturers are tasked with ensuring that it is recycled. (The Washington Post)
- California lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill phasing out single-use plastic packaging, food containers and utensils, bringing the state one step closer to enacting the most aggressive law restricting single-use plastic in the nation. The bill’s passage comes after years of negotiations among environmental groups, lawmakers and producers and follows six months of lawmaker negotiations attempting to include viewpoints from environmentalists, waste management groups and manufacturers. The legislation also requires plastic packaging producers allot $500 million a year over the course of 10 years to fund environmental programs, 60% of which will go to programs for disadvantaged, low-income and rural communities. (Forbes)
- Claims that plastic packaging made by big brands including Coca-Cola and Unilever is eco-friendly are greenwashing, according to a report. The Changing Markets Foundation says claims that companies are intercepting and using “ocean-bound” or “recyclable” plastic to tackle the plastic pollution crisis are among the most common examples of greenwashing. The claims are made with little proof about how the products address the crisis in plastic pollution to obscure the real impact of plastic from consumers. (The Guardian)
- More than half of the 38 climate lawsuits filed against businesses globally last year took aim at firms outside their familiar fossil-fuel hunting ground, including plastics, agriculture, transport and clothing companies, according to a report from the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Historically, the vast majority of climate cases have been filed in the US, but that equation is changing. A growing number of cases are cropping up in developing nations as they bear the brunt of a rapidly warming world without the resources to fight it. 32 such cases were filed in developing nations last year alone. (Bloomberg)