Amid the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a new Greenpeace report has found that giant FMCGs are driving the expansion of plastic production, which threatens global climate, communities and ecosystems around the globe, including India.
The report titled 'The Climate Emergency Unpacked:How Consumer Goods Companies Are Fuelling Big Oil's Plastic Expansion' prepared by Greenpeace USA, released on Tuesday, claimed that fast moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs), are working together with the fossil fuel industry worldwide to oppose legislation that would restrict single-use packaging.
It alleged that they together advocated for false solutions such as 'chemical or advanced recycling'.
As some of the biggest buyers of single-use plastic packaging which is the largest end use of virgin plastic globally giant fast moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs) including Coca-Cola, Nestl, and PepsiCo are driving the expansion of plastic production, and this expansion threatens the global climate as well as communities and ecosystems around the world, the report claimed.
This report assumes significance as Indian government has pledged to phase out single use plastic by 2022.
We expose the business links and joint lobbying efforts between FMCG companies and the oil and gas industry, and call out their lack of transparency around plastic emissions reporting and their failure to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic packaging.
Furthermore, we urge these companies to stop fuelling climate change and the plastic pollution crisis by phasing out single-use plastic and shifting toward reuse systems and package-free products, the report said.
According to Greenpeace Philippines Zero Waste Campaigner Marian Ledesma, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestl and other consumer goods companies are quick to publicize their climate commitments to reduce emissions, but the report exposes how they actively counter climate action and contribute to the climate crisis through production and their connections to the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries.
Ledesma said that in countries like India where extreme weather events due to the climate emergency have critically impacted communities and food systems, this has disastrous consequences.
Commenting on policy developments in India, Ledesma added that the recently announced Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, which prohibits the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of several single-use plastic items from July 1, 2022, lacks accountability and transparency for environmental or human rights violations committed by these plastic packaging companies.
The sachets and packaging these companies produce for snacks and other goods are ubiquitous in India and parts of Southeast Asia as a means of marketing products that target low-income households. To protect its people and environment, India needs more stringent policies to ensure an urgent shift away from single-use plastics and a transition to reuse models, said Ledesma.
She said the situation in Southeast Asia and India is alarming as it is, with the region topping the charts in fossil fuel emissions.
Expanding production would worsen it. Several reports have time and again warned us about the environmental and health impacts of pollution in the region, said Ledesma.
Greenpeace is calling on consumer goods companies to urgently move toward systems of reuse and package-free products, phasing out all single-use plastics, the report said.
Companies are also urged to support an ambitious global plastics treaty that addresses the entire life cycle of plastic and emphasises reduction, it said.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)