Paper or plastic? It’s a debate that has raged for years about a variety of goods, including grocery bags, food packaging materials, lollipop sticks, personal care items and other single-use products. The latest item to make headlines is the humble straw. Plastic drinking straws are ubiquitous, but they may soon take a backseat to paper drinking straws. A series of highly publicized California rulings has sparked a growing movement to ban plastic drinking straws in the United States, with proponents citing environmental concerns. One of the newest laws on the California books makes it illegal for restaurant servers to give guests plastic straws unless asked. Several California cities have followed suit by enacting local ordinances that ban the distribution or sale of plastic drinking straws in some food-service establishments. And it’s not just in California. Several major U.S. cities are putting laws in place to discourage the use of plastic drinking straws and stirrers. Amidst the growing debate, public pressure has also driven businesses — from Starbucks and Bon Appétit to SeaWorld and Disney — to announce their own plans to eliminate plastic drinking straws. Click read more below for additional detail.
Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE) today announced they have joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a new global organization comprised of nearly 30 companies to date making a five-year commitment to invest $1.5 billion in solutions to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment.
“The Alliance brings together key members across the value chain, from materials suppliers to waste management companies, to jointly develop solutions that minimize and manage plastic waste, as well as promote means to use waste plastics in a circular economy,” said Ted Doheny, Sealed Air President and CEO. “Our increased investments in innovation, including collaborations with partners such as the Alliance, will help us accelerate progress toward our 2025 sustainability goals.”
The Alliance is a nonprofit organization that unites companies that make, use, sell, process, collect, and recycle plastics. These plastic manufacturers, converters, consumer goods companies, brands, retailers, and waste management companies will work together for action to better the environment and the industry.
“Keeping our environment free of waste is important to the future of our planet,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow CEO. “Working with companies like Sealed Air allows the Alliance to accelerate efforts and take decisive action to put an end to plastic waste in the environment.”
In addition to its participation in the Alliance, Sealed Air recently announced its 2025 Sustainability and Plastics Pledge, committing to delivering 100% recyclable or reusable packaging offerings, with 50% average recycled content by 2025. The company is also a participant in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, and recently became a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.