Plastics

Unilever Vows To Reduce Plastic Packaging Use By 2025

Oct 7, 2019

Unilever, the British-Dutch conglomerate that owns Ben & Jerry's, Vaseline, Dove and more, announced plans Monday to halve its non-recycled plastic packaging by 2025. According to Unilever's statement, the company currently uses about 700,000 tons of plastic packaging every year.

The World Health Organization says there's not enough evidence to conclude that microplastics — which exist nearly everywhere in the environment and show up in drinking water — pose any risk to human health, but it cautions that more research is needed to draw firm conclusions.

Drew and Joan Norman have been producing organic vegetables on 60 acres just north of Baltimore since 1983. On a recent spring day, signs of another new season at One Straw Farm were everywhere: seedlings in the greenhouse waiting to be transplanted, asparagus ready to be picked, tiny leaves of red- and green-leaf lettuce sprouting out of the ground — and rows and rows of plastic covering the ground on each field.

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It's home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.

The death of a baby dolphin over the weekend off Fort Myers Beach may have been caused by plastic that filled its stomach. The news comes at the same time moves by cities to ban single-use plastics may be killed by state lawmakers.

Updated at 5:44 p.m. ET

Darrell Blatchley received a call from the Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources early Friday morning reporting that it had a young Cuvier's beaked whale that was weak and vomiting blood.

Within a few hours it was dead.

Blatchley, a marine biologist and environmentalist based in the Philippine city of Davao, gathered his team to drive two hours to where the whale had washed up.

RAJANISH KAKADE / AP VIA MIAMI HERALD

From toothbrushes, to water bottles, to straws, plastics are a part of everyday life. And yet the damage they cause to oceans and wildlife is well established.