Earth Island Institute sued ten food, beverage and consumer goods companies in a bid to hold them accountable for plastic waste. The lawsuit, filed on February 26 in California, argues they should be held responsible for pollution waterways in California.

The lawsuit is against companies including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Nestle and asks for unspecified damages and an order to clean up.

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Sumona Majumdar, general counsel for Earth Island, said of the lawsuit, ” Fundamentally, the lawsuit seeks to hold corporations accountable for their share of plastic pollution and their claims that plastic packaging is recyclable. For too long, they have pushed those costs onto the public, and that includes nonprofits like Earth Island that are using charitable funds to clean up their mess.”

The suit is modeled on those filed against Big Oil, Big Tobacco and Big Pharma and hopes to bring companies to acknowledge responsibility for their role in plastics pollution. According to Majumdar, “These companies push a product and then create misinformation campaigns so the public isn’t fully aware of the harms of the products when making purchasing decisions.”

Similar to a recent Greenpeace report, this lawsuit questions the viability of “plastics recycling.” Only 9% of plastics produced since 1950 have been recycled. Plastics in the world’s oceans have reached an untenable point. Senators and Representatives in Congress recently introduced the Break Free From Plastic Act, another step toward removing and reducing plastic in our system.

Learn more about plastics and recycling in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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