Friday, August 17, 2018

Major companies announce their commitment to eliminate single-use plastic

SeaWorld Parks, American Express, Royal Caribbean, IKEA, A&W Canada and Burger King U.K. have all announced their effort to eliminate items like plastic drinking straws, stirrers, lids and bags.

Image Credit: Plastic Free July

Major companies are now joining the movement against single-use plastic as many pledge to eliminate such items in an attempt to protect the world’s oceans and ecosystems. SeaWorld Parks, American Express, Royal Caribbean, IKEA, A&W Canada and Burger King U.K. have all announced their effort to eliminate items like plastic drinking straws, stirrers, lids and bags.

“Every second breath we take is created by the oceans,” Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans – a campaign to help protect oceans – said in a statement. “Without them, we can’t exist.”

Parley for the Oceans is the “space where creators, thinkers, and leaders come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction,” as stated on the campaign’s website.

And American Express teamed up with Parley for the Oceans and will be launching a new credit card made from primarily recovered plastic found in the oceans and along the coasts, which will be available to the public within a year. American Express will also “phase out plastic straws and coffee stirrers for all its major offices and Centurion airport lounges globally within 30 days,” EcoWatch reported.

SeaWorld CEO John Reilly said that the company’s mission is to protect the environment and therefore, it will eliminate single-use plastic drinking straws and shopping bags from all 12 of its theme parks.

“We see the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the animals we rescue and rehabilitate, and therefore, recognize the importance of doing our part to curb plastic pollution,” Reilly said in a statement.

Burger King U.K. announced it will start “helping out.” Starting in July, 70 of it’s fast-food restaurants will by only hand out straws and lids if requested by the customer.

A&W Canada will do it’s part by phasing out plastic straws from its restaurants and offer paper ones instead.

“Introducing packaging innovations that reduce waste is key to A&W’s environmental strategy,” Tyler Pronyk, A&W Canada’s director of distribution, equipment & packaging, said in a statement on Sustainable Brands. “By using compostable packaging, real mugs, plates and cutlery, we are diverting millions of single-use packaging from landfills every year.”

The corporate push to “protect the environment, the ocean and the animals” against plastic pollution and it’s harmful effects coincides with the most recent G7 Ocean Plastics Charter agreement. While Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. all signed the agreement endorsed by the EU, the U.S. and Japan declined to commit.

 

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