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Burberry, H&M, Zara among fashion brands helping to combat global ‘plastic crisis’


by Jennifer McShane
31st Oct 2018

With more awareness than ever before about the real impact of sustainability in the fashion industry and beyond, it’s no longer sufficient to just talk of ‘going green’ for the greater good of the environment; we need to be seeing real, tangible action and effort.

Cutting down on our excessive plastic use is one way to start; the world’s plastic crisis is continuing to worsen so much that the UNEP estimates if current pollution rates continue, oceans will have more plastic than fish by the year 2050. It’s a growing danger, and we must act now if we’re to stop it.

Many look to the fashion and beauty industries, in particular, to lead and influence, such is the power they have, but more and more brands are starting to get involved in plastics reduction for the greater good.

This week, 250 brands across an array of industries are also pledging to address the plastic crisis by signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment seeks to amend the plastic crisis in three major ways:

  1. Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models
  2. Innovate to ensure 100 per cent 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

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment aims to minimise plastic pollution through several initiatives across the globe. Burberry, L’Oreal, Stella McCartney, H&M, Inditex (which owns Zara), and Unilever (which owns Dove) are amongst the top fashion and beauty companies who have committed to the initiative, thus far.

All companies that are part of the commitment will be required to publicly disclose progress in cutting back plastic consumption through the above initiatives every year, so here’s hoping it’s like a plastic-reduction domino-effect, in where one vastly reduces, the others follow…