Tackling Plastic Pollution
World Consumer Rights Day is an annual occasion dedicated to highlighting the power of consumers and their rights for a fair, safe and sustainable marketplace for everyone.
This World Consumer Rights Day (15 March 2021), consumers will join together to Tackle Plastic Pollution.
We are currently facing a global plastic pollution crisis. Although plastic can be a highly useful material in everyday life, our consumption and production of plastics have become unsustainable.
The Pew Charitable Trusts & SYSTEMIQ report, Breaking the Plastic Wave, released in August 2020, calculates the flow of plastic materials into the ocean will triple by 2040 if major innovations and changes in policy and behaviour do not occur.
Now is a critical time in highlighting, addressing, and tackling plastic pollution as the global COVID-19 pandemic adds to the rise of single-use plastics including face masks, gloves, and food packaging.
A Special Message from Director General, Helena Leurent
A global study in 2019 found that 82% of respondents are aware of plastic waste and already taking practical actions to tackle plastic pollution. As a global consumer movement, we must support consumers to mobilise businesses, governments, and civil society to make tackling plastic pollution and sustainable consumption the easy choice for all.
This year, we will be showcasing how consumer advocacy around the world has been demanding change from governments and businesses. There is not a single solution to tackling plastic pollution, so we have created the 7 Rs Model of Waste Management (replace, rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair), to demonstrate different ways to combat this issue.
Scroll below to explore our #NoPlasticPollution gallery featuring global actions tackling plastic pollution, from our consumer advocacy membership.
Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy shares valuable insights on the impact of plastics in our oceans.
Janis highlights how the production and consumption of plastics has "skyrocketed" since the start of the COVID19 pandemic. However, consumers are in "an unique position to demand change":
- "We can opt for products that are made of alternatives to plastics."
- "We can choose reusable instead of single-use products."
- "We can choose products made of recycled material and that can be truly recycled"
WHAT IS WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY?
World Consumer Rights Day, co-ordinated by Consumers International, the membership organisation for consumer groups around the world, takes place every year to highlight the power of consumers and their rights for a fair, safe and sustainable marketplace for everyone.
World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy, who sent a special message to the US Congress on 15th March 1962. In this he addressed the issue of consumer rights. Together through consumer advocacy, we honour this with an international voice.
In the words of President John F Kennedy: “the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose and the right to be heard.”
WORLD CONSUMER RIGHTS DAY 2021: LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVES WEBINAR
On March 9th, we were delighted to have hosted the 'World Consumer Rights Day 2021: Leadership Perspectives Webinar". We invited leaders from the consumer movement (DCC and CAG), business (The Body Shop and Polymateria), and civil society (Greenpeace and SYSTEMIQ) to speak on the complex issue of plastics.
The webinar provided an opportunity to explore consumer attitudes to tackling plastic pollution, the complexities of change, the 7Rs (7Rs: Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and Replace) and why they are all important and what ambitions we should hold for the year to come. During the session, our panelists highlighted the importance of sustainable consumption, the fight against plastic pollution, and the essential role consumers, and consumer advocacy can play in driving progress towards a more sustainable planet.
#NOPLASTICPOLLUTION PHOTO ACTION
For World Consumer Rights Day 2021, our members took part in a global photo activity sharing real-life examples from consumers, demonstrating the importance of tackling plastic pollution in their everyday lives across the 7 Rs Model of Waste Management (replace, rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair).