Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé found to be worst plastic polluters worldwide in global cleanups and brand audits

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé found to be worst plastic polluters worldwide in global cleanups and brand audits

For Immediate Release

Manila, Philippines (October 9, 2018) — Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were the most frequent companies identified in 239 cleanups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and six continents, the Break Free From Plastic movement announced today. Over 187,000 pieces of plastic trash were audited, identifying thousands of brands whose packaging relies on the single-use plastics that pollute our oceans and waterways globally. Coca-Cola was the top polluter in the global audit, with Coke-branded plastic pollution found in 40 of the 42 participating countries. This brand audit effort is the most comprehensive snapshot of the worst plastic polluting companies around the world.

“These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis,” said Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic Von Hernandez. “By continuing to churn out problematic and unrecyclable throwaway plastic packaging for their products, these companies are guilty of trashing the planet on a massive scale. It’s time they own up and stop shifting the blame to citizens for their wasteful and polluting products.”

The audits, led by Break Free From Plastic member organizations[1], found that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Perfetti van Melle, Mars Incorporated, and Colgate-Palmolive were the most frequent multinational brands collected in cleanups, in that order. This ranking of multinational companies included only brands that were found in at least ten of the 42 participating countries. Overall, polystyrene, which is not recyclable in most locations, was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET, a material used in bottles, containers, and other packaging.

The top polluters in Asia, according to the analysis, were Coca-Cola, Perfetti van Melle, and Mondelez International brands. These brands accounted for 30 percent of all branded plastic pollution counted by volunteers across Asia. This year’s brand audits throughout Asia build upon a week-long cleanup and audit at the Philippines’ Freedom Island in 2017, which found Nestlé and Unilever to be the top polluters.

“We pay the price for multinational companies’ reliance on cheap throwaway plastic,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines Campaigner Abigail Aguilar. “We are the ones forced to clean up their plastic pollution in our streets and waterways. In the Philippines, we can clean entire beaches and the next day they are just as polluted with plastics. Through brand audits, we can name some of the worst polluters and demand that they stop producing plastic to begin with.”

In North and South America, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 64 and 70 percent of all the branded plastic pollution, respectively.

“In Latin America, brand audits put responsibility on the companies that produce useless plastics and the governments that allow corporations to place the burden, from extraction to disposal, in mostly vulnerable and poor communities,” said GAIA Coordinator for Latin America Magdalena Donoso. “BFFP members in Latin America are exposing this crisis  and promoting zero waste strategies in connection with our communities.”

In Europe, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were again the top identified polluters, accounting for 45 percent of the plastic pollution found in the audits there. In Australia, 7-Eleven, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 82 percent of the plastic pollution found. And finally, in Africa, ASAS Group, Coca-Cola, and Procter & Gamble brands were the top brands collected, accounting for 74 percent of the plastic pollution there.

“These brand audits are putting responsibility back where it belongs, with the corporations producing endless amounts of plastics that end up in the Indian Ocean,” said Griffins Ochieng, Programmes Coordinator for the Centre for Environment Justice and Development in Kenya. “We held cleanups and brand audits in two locations in Kenya to identify the worst corporate polluters in the region and hold them accountable. It is more urgent than ever, for the sake of communities that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, health and well-being, to break free from plastic.

Break Free From Plastic is calling on corporations reduce their use of single-use plastic, redesign delivery systems to minimize or eliminate packaging, and take responsibility for the plastic pollution they are pumping into already strained waste management systems and the environment.

While the brand audits do not provide a complete picture of companies’ plastic pollution footprints, they are the best indication to date of the worst plastic polluters globally. The Break Free From Plastic movement is urging companies to end their reliance on single-use plastics, prioritizing innovation and alternative delivery systems for products. ENDS


For the entire set of results, please find Break Free From Plastic’s brand audit report here:

[1] Break Free From Plastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,300 groups from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. These organizations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, which guide their work at the community level and represent a global, unified vision.

Photo and video:

For photo and video from brand audits around the world, click here:


Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace USA Senior Communications Specialist, P: +1 301 675 8766,

Shilpi Chhotray, Break Free From Plastic Senior Communications Officer, P: +1 703 400 9986,

Claire Arkin, GAIA Campaign and Communications Associate, P: +1 510-883-9490,

Greenpeace International Press Desk: +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours),


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GAIA Response to World Bank Report, “What a Waste 2.0”

GAIA Response to World Bank Report, “What a Waste 2.0”

For Immediate Release
October 2, 2018

Claire Arkin, Campaign and Communications Associate, GAIA,, 510-883-9490 ext: 111

Experts Urge Drastic Waste Reduction Measures Following Release of World Bank Waste Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2018, 10:00 am Pacific Standard Time

The new World Bank report, “What a Waste 2.0,” gives a clear and indisputable case for waste reduction, according to an international network of NGOs and waste experts, the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). The group underscores that the world’s mounting waste problems can and must be avoided—and called on governments and development banks to put a bigger focus on proven waste reduction approaches and a halt to unsustainable waste management systems that incentivize waste rather than reducing it.

“With its new report, the World Bank sets down an unassailable argument that the world needs to focus urgently on serious waste reduction,” says Christie Keith, Executive Director at GAIA. “The report also provides very strong evidence that decades of business-as-usual waste management systems– such as landfilling and incineration—have failed to make any dent on the garbage crisis, and in fact, have worsened the problem. Clearly, we need new systems that focus on preventing waste, rather than failed systems that attempt to deal with waste only after it is in existence.”

“What a Waste 2.0” presents the challenging realities of the world’s current and projected waste generation. The report states that plastic is an increasing threat in the waste stream, making up 12% of the global waste composition. 40% of the plastic produced worldwide is in the form of single-use packaging.₁ Overall, a frightening 81% of the materials we discard are wasted, whether in landfills, open dumps, or incinerators. GAIA believes that the presence of these waste treatment facilities have abetted, rather than minimized, waste generation.

Instead of last-resort approaches like landfilling and incineration, highly effective preventive measures such as zero waste systems have been employed successfully in hundreds of cities by GAIA members all over the world.

“Solving the waste problem starts with the shift away from business-as-usual waste treatment systems,” states Joan Marc Simon, Executive Director of Zero Waste Europe. “By doing this, and adopting zero waste resource management systems, our members have led the way to meaningful waste reduction in their communities and cities through policy advocacy, citizen engagement, corporate accountability and design innovation.”

One example is the city of Roubaix in France where 25% of households participating in the zero waste pilot were able to reduce their waste generation by over 80%, and 70% reduced their waste by 50%. Many other cities have similar experiences of successful waste reduction programs.₂

“Zero waste systems that are decentralized, regionally appropriate, and community-led are proven solutions that are working successfully to reduce waste volumes not only in Europe but also in Asia, ” says Froilan Grate, Executive Director of GAIA Philippines.

Unlike expensive industrial waste management approaches, a city’s transition to zero waste costs considerably less and can take as little as two years to set up. For example, one zero waste project in the Philippines averages at $2.30 per person per year. GAIA has estimated that an initial influx of $30 million could provide zero waste programs for the entire Metro Manila area over two years, after which the capital would be paid back using the dramatic savings over current waste management expenditures, paving the way for further investment in zero waste systems.

Grate concludes: “With ‘What a Waste 2.0,’ the World Bank is repeating the same alarm bells it raised in its last report six years ago, but since then things have only gotten worse. We hope the World Bank along with governments and other institutions heed the message of these reports and massively shift all funding and action to waste reduction and zero waste—while phasing out wrong-headed approaches like landfilling and incineration, which led us into this mess in the first place. In the next six years, we shouldn’t have another ‘What a Waste 3.0’ report with even even more dire figures of how the world is failing to address waste, if the world shifts to zero waste now.”


₁ In partnership with the #breakfreefromplastic movement, GAIA members all over the world participated in waste and brand audits in time for World Clean-Up Day earlier this month, joining movement members in 6 continents and over forty countries. Through these brand audits over 250,000 pieces of plastic waste was collected worldwide.

In a brand audit, participants count the number of plastic items found in clean-ups that are associated with specific brands, and hold the most prevalent brands accountable for their role in the plastic pollution crisis. Unilever, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble were the most commonly found brands at cleanups in the Philippines. For more information, visit

₂ In the Philippines, all residents of Tacloban City now enjoy access to regular waste collection, compared to only 30% of residents two years ago, and are composting or recycling 64% of materials collected (from 2.5% previously) thanks to its zero waste program. The city also reduced its environmental leakage from 52% (105 tpd) of total waste to just 2.5% (5 tpd).


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SAVE THE DATE: Nov 23 – Dec 2 2018 | Greenpeace & partners announce MAKE SMTHNG Week to fight overconsumption and waste

SAVE THE DATE: Nov 23 – Dec 2 2018 | Greenpeace & partners announce MAKE SMTHNG Week to fight overconsumption and waste

Hamburg, Sep 24, 2018 – To fight overconsumption and our current throw-away lifestyle, campaign organizations Greenpeace, Fashion Revolution, #Breakfreefromplastic, Shareable, the Fab City Global Initiative and Fablabs community invite the public to the second MAKE SMTHNG Week: a week of action for the global maker movement to replace shopping with creative ideas on how to reuse, upcycle, repair and share existing goods. The week will kick off on Black Friday, Nov 23, a major shopping day that generates billions of sales and tons of waste.

Starting from Black Friday until Dec 2nd 2018, Greenpeace and its partners will ask the public to MAKE SMTHNG – BUY NOTHING. MAKE SMTHNG Week invites and encourage makers from across the globe to host and organize hands-on workshops and events in their local communities to teach people simple maker skills.

“Black Friday has become one of the major peaks of consumerism. We want to show that everyone can make positive change in their cities by using creativity, community spirit and maker skills to make the most of what we already own. Our global week of action brings together people with incredible making, upcycling, repair, reuse, zero waste and cooking skills. Buying less is not only great for the planet, it’s also fun and social.” said Kirsten Brodde, the global project leader of MAKE SMTHNG Week.

This year’s motto is MAKE CHANGE, asking makers around the globe to act as changemakers in their communities. Together with Arts Thread, the coalition put out a call for creative ideas to “Disrupt Black Friday” this upcoming November 23. The competition asks artists, designers and creatives  to come up with a disruptive piece of public artivism, installation or community action. The winner of the “Disrupt Black Friday” competition will see his/her design implemented by one participating Greenpeace office. A shortlist of guerilla actions that people can independently implement will be presented to the international network of makers on Oct 10, while the overall winner will be declared on Oct 17.

MAKE SMTHNG Week will also invite the public to sign up for its MAKE SMTHNG challenge to get tips and tutorials on how to get started with making more and buying less.

Last year’s MAKE SMTHNG Week drew over 15.000 people to 186 workshop events in 33 countries, with hundreds of makers, creatives, artists, designers and chefs teaching skills like upcycling, visible mending, repairing, cooking and making in their workshops.

Resources & Background Information+
Background Information on MAKE SMTHNG
Toolkit for Event Organizers, Design and Resources
MAKE SMTHNG photos and videos
Follow MAKE SMTHNG on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube
Fashion Revolution
Fab Labs Network
Fab City Global Initiative
Arts Thread

For more information contact  

Greenpeace – Lu Yen Roloff, Comms Lead MAKE SMTHNG, Greenpeace Germany +49 151 100 28267


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100 KG Plastic Wastes Collected from Dhanmondi Lake Area

100 KG Plastic Wastes Collected from Dhanmondi Lake Area

Written by Mohammad Nazimuzzaman of ESDO


Dhanmondi, Dhaka- 19 th September 2018

Plastic pollution in city water bodies has been creating havoc to our life and nature. Within
one and half an hour, around 100 KG single use-plastic wastes were collected from
Dhanmondi lake area in Dhaka. Fifty volunteers from Shaheed Bir Uttam Lt. Anwar Girls
College and Dhanmondi Govt Girls High School, students from Daffodil International
University and ESDO team members did the drive in the occasion of “World Cleanup Day”
and BFFP brand audit on September 16, Sunday. Environment and Social Development
Organization-ESDO initiated this movement to create public awareness and knocking the
extended producer’s responsibility.

After the brand audit and cleanup activities, 97.5 kg single use plastic packaging and sachets
were collected.On the basis of product types, it was found that for Household product, Food
product, Personal care product and for other mixed items, the total weight of plastics were
40.31 kg, 32.806 kg, 0.108 kg and 23.83 kg respectively. Sample were collected for 2 hours
covering 1 km area of Dhanmondi lake. So for the whole day, if the sample collection is for 8
hours, from the estimation it could be said that for whole Dhanmondi lake that is 4.34 km 2 in
size, the total amount of plastic waste will be approximately 50,543.4 kg in a month. Most of
the non-recyclable plastic goes into the lake which creates pollution into the water bodies and
severly affecting aquatic life.

From the Brand Audit, 120 brands of 82 producers were identified, which includes
corporations like PRAN-RFL, Abul Monem Ltd., Bombay Sweets Company, Nomad Foods
Limited, Dhaka Ice cream International Limited, Nestle, Unilever, Square, Meridian Group,.
and Perfetti Van Melle Bangladesh Pvt Ltd.

In the opening of the cleaning and auditing drive, former Secretary and ESDO Chairperson
Syed Marghub Murshed urged the government to take necessary steps to protect our water
bodies from plastic and micro plastic pollution. He said, “we are in a global pollution area, so
we need collective efforts to tackle this situation. Manufacturers cannot green wash their role
of plastic pollution crisis”, he added.

The Brand Audit tool is designed by Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) Global movement.
Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) is the member of this Break
Free From Plastic movement. This Brand Audit is mainly done to create awareness among
the public and also for the manufacturers who are using single uses plastics in their products
packaging and also to motivate them for using the alternatives of it.

For more information, please visit –

Contact Information:
Mohammad Nazimuzzaman
Program Associate (Communication)
Mobile: 01714737913 (For Emergency)

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#breakfreefromplastic Is Supercharging Coastal Cleanups With Brand Audits To Name Corporate Polluters

#breakfreefromplastic Is Supercharging Coastal Cleanups With Brand Audits To Name Corporate Polluters


Brand audits highlight citizen action to hold polluters accountable, getting to the root cause of the plastic pollution crisis

Break Free From Plastic, the global movement working to stop plastic pollution, is taking coastal cleanups a step further – by naming the brands most responsible for the plastic pollution found on our beaches and beyond.

Throughout a global week of action, September 9-15, 2018, groups under the #breakfreefromplastic banner have collectively organized more than 180 cleanups in 49 countries to incorporate data on corporate plastic pollution found in communities across the world. These particular events will conclude on World Cleanup Day, September 15, and a report will follow citing brand responsibility for the plastic pollution found in nearly 150 cities around the globe. #breakfreefromplastic is looking forward to hosting more brand audits until coastal cleanup becomes of a thing of the past.

Corporations cannot greenwash their role out of the plastic pollution crisis and put the blame on people, all the time. Our brand audits make it clear which companies are primarily responsible for the proliferation of throwaway plastic that’s defiling nature and killing our oceans. Their brands provide undeniable evidence of this truth,” stated Von Hernandez, #breakfreefromplastic Global Coordinator.

From San Francisco, California to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, organizers are working in solidarity under the global #breakfreefromplastic banner. Nipe Fagio, a Break Free organization in Dar es Salaam, is no stranger to brand audits. In fact, the group is organizing cleanups at more than 30 sites across the city during World Cleanup Day to shape the future for a cleaner Tanzania. “Over 50% of waste collected during our beach cleanups in the last 6 months comprise of plastic that range from packaging materials and beverage bottles manufactured by MeTL group, to toothbrushes, straws and pens,” shares Navonaeli Omari-Kaniki, Program Coordinator at Nipe Fagio.

Brand audits are about creating corporate accountability for the plastic pollution that litters our oceans, waterways, and communities,” said Graham Forbes, Global Plastics Project Leader at Greenpeace. “For far too long, companies have put the onus on the individual to just recycle more, but we know that only 9 percent of plastics ever made have actually been recycled. It’s essential that these corporations take concrete steps to innovate away from single-use plastic. People all over the world will continue to hold them accountable until they do,” he added.

By categorizing and counting branded plastic packaging during cleanup efforts, #breakfreefromplastic is identifying the corporation’s most responsible for plastic pollution.

Corporations like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever, Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, and McDonald’s have a major role to play when it comes to plastic pollution. We are sold coffee, soda, chips, candy, sandwiches, shampoo, soap, and even fruits and vegetables packaged in throwaway plastic. It’s time for these corporations to take responsibility for single-use plastic,” said Stiv Wilson, Campaigns Director at The Story of Stuff Project.

As First Nations Peoples, we continue to resist corporate colonialism which profits from extractive economies and disposable plastic culture while pushing the burden of responsibility to community recycling and individual consumer choice,” stated Mati Waiya, Executive Director at the Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation. “We maintain our traditional responsibilities to protect our homelands and waters – that includes holding corporations accountable for their role in generating this excessive waste,” Mati Waiya added.

#breakfreeformplastic is mobilizing massive citizen muscle with a common mission so corporations can no longer frame the issue as one of only consumer responsibility. The movement boasts nearly 1,300 groups working towards a similar goal of holding companies accountable for the plastic waste they produce.

It’s unfair for North American and European companies who earn billions of dollars annually to pass the burden of managing the waste of their products to communities and cities in the global south. These companies know full well that these countries lack the resources and capacity to handle this type of plastic waste in their systems,” stated Anne Larracas, Asia Pacific Managing Director at the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.

Member organizations of the #breakfreefromplastic movement involved in the global brand audit efforts include: Greenpeace International, Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres, EcoWaste Coalition, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Health Care Without Harm, Mother Earth Foundation, Nipe Fagio, The Story of Stuff Project, Zero Waste Montenegro, Amicas De La Terra Mallorca, CEJAD, PlastiCo Project, NESMAC-KITARA, Student PIRGs, Inland Ocean Coalition, Planeteers of Southern Maine, Instituto Argonauta Para Conservação Costeira e Marinha, People and the Sea, Rockefeller University, Científicos de la Basura, Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation, and Let’s Do It World.

# # # # #

To view the brand audit toolkit, click here.

To learn why brand audits are better than clean-ups, click here.

About #breakfreefromplastic:

#breakfreefromplastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,300 groups from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. These organizations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, which guide their work at the community level and represent a global, unified vision.


Press Contacts:

Shilpi Chhotray, #breakfreefromplastic (

Claire Arkin, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (

Perry Wheeler, Greenpeace (


Highlights from past brand audits:

  • Sept 2017: Freedom Island, Philippines → Of the total waste collected during an 8-day cleanup and brand audit, half of it was plastic. 6 international brands including Nestle, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble are responsible for nearly 54% of plastic waste found during the Freedom Island brand audit.
  • March-September 2017: Bandung City, Cimahi City, and Bandung Regency, Indonesia → A total of 8,101 plastic waste items were collected from an 8-day waste assessment and characterization study. Top plastic polluters include: PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk, PT Santos Jaya Abadi, PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk, PT Mayora Indah Tbk, Wings Corporation, PT Djarum, Group Danone, PT Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk., Orang Tua (OT), PT Garudafood Putra Putri Jaya.
  • May 16-26, 2018: 18 states in India → Of the total waste collected, 46,100 pieces of plastic waste were branded, of which 47.5% were multilayer plastic packaging which can neither be recycled nor composted. Pepsi Co was found to be the top multinational brand responsible for the plastic waste crisis in the territories audited, followed by Unilever and Coca Cola. Results were published in time for World Environment Day, June 5.
  • June 1, 2018: 5 cities in the Philippines → Over the course of a 12-month period found that single-use plastic packaging from multinational companies such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PT Mayora, Colgate-Palmolive, and Coca-Cola comprised almost three-fourths of all collected residual waste.
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Support Grows to Control Plastic Waste in International Trade Treaty

Support Grows to Control Plastic Waste in International Trade Treaty

Global Partnership for Action on Plastic Waste Also Proposed

September 6, 2018

Geneva –The 11th Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention, the world’s only international treaty on waste control, concluded with widespread and growing support for a proposal by Norway to add plastic waste to the list of wastes subject to the trade controls under the convention. The proposal is seen as a key mechanism to stem the tide of marine debris and plastic litter. It would add plastic waste to Annex II, a list of wastes for “special consideration” under the Convention that requires notification by exporting countries and consent by importing countries prior to export.

As a result of the growing volume of plastic waste now being produced and the new plastic scrap import ban in China, plastic wastes, primarily from Europe, Japan, and North America are now adrift on the global market and have been arriving in the ports of countries, such as Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia, in alarming amounts. The plastic scrap is often contaminated and mixed in ways that makes it difficult or impossible to recycle, and thus ends up being dumped or burned openly in the recipient countries, creating toxic emissions and terrestrial and marine pollution. By June, Thailand had already seized 30,000 container loads of plastic scrap in their ports this year, and was forced to impose an emergency import ban.

“Southeast Asia is already being hit hard by a tsunami of plastic waste,” said Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator of the Break Free from Plastic movement. “The Norwegian proposal to place plastic scrap under Basel controls will be a significant first step to protect Southeast Asia and developing countries everywhere from becoming the trash bins of the developed world.”

Many countries voiced their support for the Norwegian proposal on the floor of the meeting, including: China, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya, Maldives, Malaysia, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Senegal, South Africa, State of Palestine, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, and Uruguay. Despite this broad support for the proposal, some actors, including the EU, Canada, Japan, and Australia hope to block, delay, or water it down.

“The severity of the plastic pollution problem and its impacts on human health and the environment are undeniable and require urgent action. We cannot let a few countries or industry sectors prevent much-needed and overdue action from the global community,” says David Azoulay, Senior attorney for the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

The meeting also recommended the creation of a multi-stakeholder global partnership on the minimization of plastic waste. Both proposals (partnership and trade control) will be forwarded to the 14th Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention for a decision in April of 2019.

“The Basel Convention is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in stemming the flood tide of plastic waste now engulfing the entire planet,” said Jim Puckett, Director of the Basel Action Network (BAN). “They can do this not only by controlling unwanted trade, but by promoting steps to minimize the production of single-use and other unsustainable plastic products. We are thrilled that this week’s meeting has clearly signaled a turning of the tide.”

For more information contact:
Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator, #BreakFreeFromPlastics movement,
Jim Puckett, Director, Basel Action Network,
David Azoulay, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law,

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