Plastics | WWF
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No Plastic In Nature

Useful but problematic

Plastic is incredibly useful and practical – and everywhere. Our modern life depends on it.
Strong, light and adaptable, it’s in everything from household goods, medical equipment and bank notes, to packaging, motor vehicles, buildings and fishing nets.

Yet as useful as plastic is, our throwaway culture, coupled with ineffective waste management, and the fact that it is currently made from fossil fuels, mean it is causing significant environmental harm.

Plastic pollution is a global crisis – killing marine life, contaminating the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, and suffocating our rivers and oceans.
Photo by Justin Hofman / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

© Justin Hofman

© shutterstock

No Plastic In Nature

Our oceans contain 300 million tons of plastic and we add another 8 million every year – that’s a truck load of plastic a minute!
Breaking down into microplastics, it is entering our food chains, the average person may be ingesting as many as 2,000 microplastic particles every week.

Plastic doesn’t belong in nature, and if we do nothing, by 2050, there may be more plastic in our oceans than fish. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

At WWF, our vision is No Plastic in Nature by 2030.

“Realising our vision of no plastic in nature will take nothing short of a revolution. Addressing the plastic problem in our oceans and rivers is everyone’s responsibility. Governments, business and consumers all have a role to play.”

Cristianne Close
Markets Practice Leader
@WWFLeadMarkets

© WWF Madagascar

A circular economy for plastics

Business has a critical role to play in solving the plastic pollution crisis.
Consumers are demanding change, and responsible companies are rethinking their approach to this complex material. Many have already signed a Global Commitment to eliminate plastic pollution.

We need a new ‘circular economy’ for plastics - one that stops plastic from becoming waste in the first place.

This means shifting to sustainable, non-fossil fuel sources for plastic, reducing our use of unnecessary and problematic plastics, and investing in recycling to manage those plastics that we can’t do without.

We have an opportunity to innovate and rethink how we can design and use plastic, producing the things we need without creating waste and pollution.

New Plastics Economy

Our partner, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have developed a blueprint for change - the New Plastics Economy.

By uniting businesses, governments and other actors behind one common vision, this global initiative aims to rethink and redesign the future of plastics and build a plastics system that works

Circular Economy

© WWF

© Richard Barret / WWF-UK

ReSource: Plastic

Just 100 top companies could prevent the generation of ten million tons of plastic waste – and action across sectors and supply chains could triple the impact.
Companies need a roadmap for navigating the broken plastics system and the right tools to make bold visions a reality.

That’s why we’ve launched ReSource: Plastic, an initiative designed to help companies  move from aspiration to meaningful action, and scale lasting systemic change.

ReSource helps companies reduce unnecessary plastic use and plastic waste, find solutions through collaboration with peers, investors and governments, and influence how plastic is used, collected and processed globally.
 
 

 
	© WWF

Our report, No Plastic in Nature: A Practical Guide for Business Engagement, offers practical guidance for companies looking to drive systemic change through strategic collaboration, design and innovation.

And companies can help us all make better choices.

WWF
© WWF

A revolution within our grasp

Together, we can create a future with no plastic in nature – a world where oceans, wildlife, communities, and businesses thrive is within our reach.
WWF’s Your Plastic Diet campaign supports consumers to make lifestyle changes that reduce their exposure to and use of unnecessary and problematic plastics.

Our PlasticSmart Cities programme is working with cities around the world for cleaner rivers and oceans.

And we’re calling on governments to develop a global agreement on plastic pollution to stop plastic waste from entering our oceans.

Stop Polluting Our Oceans

We’re calling on governments to introduce a global legally-binding UN agreement to stop plastics polluting our oceans.

You can help by signing our petition.