Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The plastics industry fights back

The European Parliament has acted on plastic pollution:
European Parliament takes historic stand against single-use plastic pollution – EEB – The European Environmental Bureau
Mixed industry response to European ban on plastic straws, bags and cotton buds.

The plastics industry has been fighting back: 
Plastics lobby in court to keep toxic item off EU list
Indian state softens plastic ban after industry lobbying | Reuters
UK plastics industry picks Portland for secret lobbying offensive | Public Affairs News
Finnish industry lobby: Plastic bottles are safe | Yle Uutiset | yle.fi

It’s time for plastics industry to rise up and say, no more Mr. Nice Guy!

I knew it would only be a matter of time before activist organization As You Sow (Oakland, CA) would go after the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS; Washington, DC) by targeting its members. According to As You Sow’s Oct. 26 press release, Walden Asset Management and As You Sow scoured PLASTICS’ website for a list of member companies. While the list was not publicly available, a “review of member committee lists posted on the [PLASTICS] website shows that many companies who are publicly committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR) values and have active CSR programs are members of PLASTICS.”
PLASTICS’ President & CEO William R. Carteaux, sent out a response on Nov. 2 calling out the “misleading and manipulative” statements made by As You Sow, such as one stating that the American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) is the “lobbying arm” for PLASTICS. After several years of receiving press releases from As You Sow and like-minded groups going after companies over their use of plastics, I can say that misleading and manipulative is this activist organization’s modus operandi....
... Perhaps it’s time for everyone in the plastics industry—including all the end-users (if they have the guts) who depend on the tremendous benefits of polymers for their products’ quality, safety and reliability—to stand up to the negative narrative being promoted by anti-plastic activist groups and play hard ball. Let them know that it’s no more Mr. Nice Guy!

It’s time for plastics industry to rise up and say, no more Mr. Nice Guy! | PlasticsToday

Although there are a lot of mixed messages going out:
Plastics industry executives wrong on several points | Plastics News 

Here's a message from the campaign group 38 Degrees:

This is unbelievable. Huge companies - who produce millions of tonnes of plastic every year - are trying to stop the government cracking down on plastic waste. [1] It means more plastic could end up littering our streets, spilling into our oceans and killing our wildlife.

Companies like these have got their eyes on the bottom line. They have powerful lobbyists and huge advertising budgets to persuade the government not to tackle plastic waste. [2] They’re not going to stop filling our planet with plastic unless they’re made to.

But together, we can outnumber and outsmart them. We’ve shown that we can take on global giants like Unilever on plastic tea bags and Pepsi on crisp packets - and win! [3] If thousands of us chip in today, we can grow a war-chest big enough to take on these companies and make the government crack down on plastic waste.

Just recently lobbyists for the plastics industry paid a food safety government advisor to report on the risks of reusable coffee cups. He then claimed that reusable plastic could make people ill, but has since admitted there is little evidence of this. Professor McDowell’s report was used to argue against a ban on single use plastics. [4]

We all know big businesses care about profit. But there are millions of us who see things differently. We know our countryside, oceans and wildlife are worth more than money. These businesses may be rich. But there are more of us than there are of them and we can make 2019 the year when these companies are forced do the right thing.

If you’re reading this email and you’ve got this far, you’re probably someone who stands up for what they believe in. So, if we’re going to stop plastic destroying our oceans and wildlife, we need everyone who agrees to do everything they can.
The 38 Degrees team

[1] BBC News: Plastic recycling: Your questions answered:
[2] Daily Mail: Plastic DIDN'T kill Blue Planet whale (...says the plastics industry): Manufacturers hit back at 'alarmist' images in BBC documentary:
[3] 38 Degrees: Walkers announce a new recycling scheme for crisp packets!:
38 Degrees: PG Tips: We won:
[4] The Times: Plastics lobby paid government adviser to question eco cups:

Home - 38 Degrees

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