I was both sad and excited to see this recent piece in the Resource Newsletter about the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. It details a report from the think tank Planet Tracker called Barely Credible that evaluates the abysmal track record to date of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste.
As a reminder– the Alliance to End Plastic Waste is a group formed by the biggest players in the largest industries that create plastic and plastic waste.
My friend and colleague Katie Conlon and I wrote an article in 2021 published in Frontiers (available fully online) called Mopping up or turning off the tap: environmental injustice and the ethics of plastic pollution where we noted that the members of the AEPW pledged in 2019 to spend 1.5 billion dollars over five years to “end plastic waste in the environment,” which represents less than 2 % of the members’ annual NET profits.
In our piece, we compared the Alliance to End Plastic Waste with organizations like Common Seas which in contrast have an inclusive approach that seeks to solve underlying problems (like access to clean drinking water) and actually address the SOURCES of plastic pollution (exponential growth of single use plastics) instead of just the SYMPTOMS of plastic pollution (for example, promoting another recycling program).
While it is nice to get confirmation that we were on track… I’d much rather the producers of plastic waste take responsibility for the way they are polluting our planet.
Want to learn more about what the US Congress is doing to address plastic policy? Check out the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act.