Nine companies pledge to cut plastic use

They sign WWF action plan to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic, support research projects

Nine companies here have pledged to go beyond simply banning plastic straws to take more targeted measures to reduce plastic use.

One of them, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, for instance, has committed to completely eliminating single-use plastics from its supply chain by 2025, with some exceptions for reasons such as safety.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced yesterday that the nine companies are signatories to its Plastic Action, or Pact, initiative.

The other eight are AccorHotels Group, Hilton Singapore, Pontiac Land Group, Ramada and Days Hotels by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park, Pastamania, Kraftwich, SaladStop! and Udders.

The companies are committed to taking measures to cut plastic use within the stipulated time frames they set, starting with the removal of unnecessary plastics from their operations.

They will take responsibility for the use of plastic beyond the point of sale, by collecting and recycling more plastics than they produce.

They will review the designs and types of plastics used in their products to ensure more emphasis is placed on making them reusable and recyclable.

Companies do not have to eliminate plastics entirely. There will be exceptions, such as using cling wrap for hygiene purposes during food preparation.

They will also support a range of conservation and research projects, which may involve finding better materials for their plastics, improving waste management or removing plastics from nature.

However, the companies do not have to eliminate plastics entirely. There will be exceptions, such as using cling wrap for hygiene purposes during food preparation.

Elaborating on this, a WWF spokesman said: "We recognise that certain plastics are still essential.

"The commitments are aimed at eliminating excessive or unnecessary plastic use by businesses, while switching to plant-based plastic or alternative materials that are more sustainable."

 
 
 
 

WWF Singapore chief of strategic communication and external relations Kim Stengert said that signatories to Pact are making an "ambitious and science-based" commitment to systemic change.

Supported by the National Environment Agency, Pact builds on WWF's vision of no plastics in nature by 2030.

WWF said that addressing the use of plastics by businesses is key to addressing the crisis of plastic pollution as 80 per cent of plastics in the ocean are believed to come from land sources.

It is estimated that by 2050, there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight, with potential implications for human health and well-being.

WWF added that studies have found microplastics in the gut of one in four fish, in the tap water samples of 14 countries and even in the air.

Last year, KFC, Burger King and Resorts World Sentosa stopped providing plastic straws as part of steps to reduce the use of disposable plastics, while Yakult Singapore encouraged consumers of its probiotic milk drink to take it straight from the bottle.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2019, with the headline 'Nine companies pledge to cut plastic use'. Print Edition | Subscribe