Since plastic was invented less than a century ago, we have produced more than 8 billion tonnes of it. Designed to last and particularly resistant, it is regularly used for very limited or even unique purposes. Plastic has become the notorious symbol of the ultra disposable society. The result is astounding: largely non-biodegradable, plastic flows into the wild with massive damage to the environment.
A few figures:
- Currently, 72% of drinking water in Europe is contaminated with microplastics.
- Over a million animals die every year from damage caused by plastic pollution, and to date, some 250 species have already ingested plastic affecting our entire food chain.
- 6 to 8.5 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year. At such a rate, there will be more plastic than fish in the seas by 2050
- Single-use plastics are accounting for 70% of the waste found on beaches and 85% of the pollution in the oceans
With major public health problems, heavy damages to biodiversity, significant contributions to global warming, we are facing an unprecedented multifaceted problem. It is time to say stop and change our ways.
For several years now, IMS has been exploring the challenges, stakes, and opportunities related to eliminating and replacing single-use plastics in companies with actors in the transition towards more sustainable solutions.
2018 – 2020: The Zero Single-Use Plastic Manifesto
In September 2018, on the occasion of the Luxembourg CEO Sustainability Club's annual dinner, IMS called on the executives present to sign the Zero Single-Use Plastic Manifesto. The objective: eliminate single-use plastic from their organisation by the end of 2020. That evening, around twenty of them committed.
During the two years of the project, more joined the movement, eventually reaching 74 signatory companies of all sizes and sectors determined to eliminate single-use plastic from their workplace. Together, these organisations represent around 40,000 employees, accounting for 9% of Luxembourg's total employment. Collectively, they avoid 160 tonnes of single-use plastic waste each year.
In partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development
On the other hand, the promotion of reuse and mutualisation for responsible resource management through group negotiations with suppliers for the categories identified as the most difficult to replace during the Zero Single-Use Plastic project (food containers, packaging, wipes) and a working group to address the challenge of single-use packaging in the supply chain (production, storage, marketing, recycling).
Educational exhibition on plastic pollution
Created on the occasion of the Luxembourg Sustainability Forum 2019, this exhibition dedicated to plastic pollution informs and raises awareness on the social and environmental issues related to disposable waste. Available in both physical and digital formats, the 21 exhibition panels are available for you to share widely through your networks or to host on your premises.
Transition Kit (available soon)
The Transition Kit gathers different alternatives to single-use plastic products for businesses. These alternatives are evaluated according to different criteria to help the reader understand their characteristics and compare them with each other. This resource, available in English and French, also features testimonials from organisations that have already implemented some of the kit's solutions to provide insight from their experiences.
Find Sustainability Mag articles dedicated to plastic pollution here: