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Do You Know Your Plastic Footprint?
You may soon want to (or need to.) That’s because the Plastic Disclosure Project will launch next month by sending questionnaires about all aspects of plastic use and recycling to companies around the world. Their goal is to heighten awareness of plastic pollution among consumers, companies, and investors.

Plastic is a huge issue for the environment, especially the marine ecosystem. Each year roughly 300 million tons of virgin plastic are created, and only 10% recycled. The rest goes into landfills, rivers, and oceans. Plastic that ends up in the water breaks down into small pieces over time, but it never really goes away. Instead, it gets ingested by marine life or becomes part of a “plastic soup” that is virtually impossible to remove from the ocean.

The Plastic Disclosure Project wants companies to measure their plastic use and then create programs to reduce waste, convert to more earth-friendly materials, and improve recycling. They hope organizations establish systems for plastic governance, plus metrics for plastic reduction, and publicly report their progress.

The Plastic Disclosure Project is modeled after the Carbon Disclosure Project which has successfully engaged over 3,000 organizations in managing, reporting, and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

More details about the project will be available with its official launch in September.

We should think about...
  • Should we be an early participant in the Plastic Disclosure Project?
  • What are the first steps we can take to reduce our plastic use?
Sources: Going Green 2011; New York Times 2011; 2011
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