Every so often an initiative comes along where you think, “I wish I had thought of that!”
When I think of the environmental issues that most concern me, one is the rapid growth of the great gyres of plastic waste and debris that are choking the world ocean. And now there is the Plastic Disclosure Project. I have no idea what impact it will have, but it’s potentially an exciting new element in the disclosure firmament.
PDP points out that: roughly 33% of plastic is for single use, then thrown away; approximately 85% of total global plastic used is not recycled; plastic negatively impacts over 700 species of animals and birds; and plastics can hang around in the environment for hundreds of years. Among other things, PDP will encourage the annual disclosure of plastic footprints and management strategies; encourage efficiencies in plastic use, reuse and recycling; and broaden awareness of plastic investment risks and opportunities
The project is being developed by the Hong Kong and California-based Ocean Recovery Alliance. This focuses on bringing innovation, technologies, creativity and collaborations together to address some of the challenges that face the ocean and our broader environment. Two preventative solutions to the plastic waste issues are the PDP and Global Alert, both of which were announced at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
A new report on the natural capital cost of plastic in the consumer goods industry (a joint program with UNEP and Trucost) is available – and its findings are getting coverage in the business media.
I, for one, will be watching this space with great interest.