What's the plastics industry doing about litter?
It's a good question, and given the political battles taking place around the world about product bans and taxes.
The past few days I've been reading stories in the general media about California's plastics bag ban. While the coverage has been pretty balanced (but check out this headline: "Plastic Bag Manufacturers Ready To Delay, Undo California's New Bag Ban"), I've noticed that many of the "story comment" sections quickly devolve into name calling.
If you believe the critics, you'll think that the plastics industry doesn't care about the environment, and that it's just protecting its own self-interest at the expense of wildlife.
But some plastics company officials are making an effort to deal with litter. Most recently, I received a release from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association about how its staff volunteered in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
The CPIA team was a part of the more than 500,000 individuals who volunteered across Canada on the project. CPIA focused its attention on the local Etobicoke Creek.
"This national conservation effort is a great chance for everyone to get involved and play an important role in keeping our waterways healthy for our community and the plants and animals that rely on our waters for survival." said Carol Hochu, CPIA president and CEO.
CPIA isn't alone in this. Many of the global plastics trade groups are making an effort on litter issues. You can read about their efforts on this "What we're doing" page, and in this joint declaration on marine litter issues, as well as this story from Associations Now magazine, "Global plastics industry picks up marine litter reduction efforts."
It's obviously more than just PR, there's a real effort taking place. Is it enough?