News & Runway

Burberry, H&M and 290 Organizations Worldwide Sign Global Commitment to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Undeniably, plastic is convenient. It’s lightweight, durable, inexpensive and easy to produce. But plastic waste is also a danger to the environment and our oceans. In an effort to eliminate plastic pollution at the source, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has launched an initiative with over 290 organizations worldwide that represent 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally.

A number of top fashion brands have signed to commit to the campaign, such as Burberry, H&M, Inditex (Zara) and Stella McCartney. The foundation is making sure that these companies are serious about their commitment. These companies are expected to report to the foundation every 18 months regarding their progress and must also promote their progress in order to create awareness of the environmental issue to create momentum for the movement.

The Global Commitment has concrete targets for each company:

  1. Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models
  2. Innovate to ensure 100 percent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled or composted by 2025
  3. Circulate the plastic produced, by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products

Dame Ellen MacArthur said in a release, “We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year. We need to move upstream to the source of the flow. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic. This is just one step on what will be a challenging journey, but one which can lead to huge benefits for society, the economy and the environment. I encourage all businesses and governments to go further and embark on a race to the top in the creation of a circular economy for plastic. One in which this material never becomes waste or pollution.”

The brands signing up for this Global Commitment join brands like Public School and Eileen Fisher and Everlane that are making an effort towards a more environmental approach to their business and collections. Hopefully, as even more fashion companies take social responsibility others will follow suit.

[ Next: Something Better: How to Shop This Season’s Biggest Trends — Sustainably ]