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Greenpeace Ships are Setting Sail

27 Feb 2019

Corporations have created a plastic monster. Over 90% of the plastics ever produced have not been recycled, yet corporations have plans to dramatically increase their production of plastic packaging. With plastic production set to quadruple by 2050, recycling can never be enough to solve this problem.

Ghost fishing nets in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch © Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

Ghost fishing nets in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. © Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

But the global movement to hold these corporations accountable is growing. More than 3 million of you have joined us in urging companies to stop polluting our planet with throwaway plastic. And together with over 1,400 allies in the global Break Free From Plastic movement, we conducted 239 cleanups in 42 countries to identify the biggest corporate polluters.

In October, Greenpeace International released the Crisis of Convenience report, based on a survey to 11 of the biggest fast-moving consumer goods companies globally. Despite some of these companies publicly signing a voluntary, non-binding commitment to tackle the crisis, the report revealed that none of the companies surveyed currently have comprehensive plans to move away from single-use packaging; on the contrary, most of them have plans to increase the overall amount of plastic packaging they produce.

So now we are deploying the Greenpeace ships; the Rainbow Warrior and the Beluga, to tell the global story of where plastic pollution really starts and ends. We are rallying supporters worldwide to help hold these companies accountable and to make sure they follow up on their words with bold action. Because we don’t need more talk—we need concrete, urgent action to stop plastic pollution at the source!

The Rainbow Warrior protesting the plastic problem in the Mediterranean Sea © Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace

The Rainbow Warrior protesting the plastic problem in the Mediterranean Sea © Pedro Armestre / Greenpeace

It’s time for Nestle, Unilever, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo., Colgate, Danone, Johnson & Johnson, and Mars to be transparent about exactly how much plastic packaging they are producing and make concrete plans to reduce. It’s time for these corporations to invest in alternative ways to deliver their products to us and phase out single-use plastic.

These companies have created a monster, and we are not willing to allow the plastic monster to grow any more. We need concrete plans for reduction, and we need them now. We need corporations to slay the plastic monster.

Stay tuned for more details about Greenpeace’s ships’ whereabouts in the coming weeks and months and to see how you can get involved.

Graham Forbes is the Global Project Lead for the Plastic-Free-Future Campaign at Greenpeace USA