London: Soft drink companies seem to be finally waking up to the perils of plastic pollution, with global giants such as Danone, Suntory and Nestle committing to eliminate the use of throwaway plastic bottles in an action plan presented to the UK parliament.
In a report produced by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, soft drink firms have backed a government-implemented deposit and return scheme.
The plan is for zero plastic packaging to be sent to landfill by 2030, and for packaging to be made entirely from recycled or renewable materials or both, reported Guardian.
"Achieving this vision requires all stakeholders in the bottled water and soft drinks value chain to commit to eliminating plastic packaging waste as a strategic priority," the report said.
As part of the plan, the companies have stated that they will commit to reducing the volume of plastic used in bottled water and soft drinks packaging and ensure any packaging material used is 100pc recyclable or reusable.
The firms want all revenue from a new scheme and a deposit return system to be reinvested in recycling and reprocessing of plastic packaging.
Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner for Greenpeace, welcomed the move. "Some of the world's largest food companies now recognise the huge environmental impacts single-use plastic bottles are having on our marine environment," she said.
Annual consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021, with consumers currently buying 1mn plastic bottles a minute around the world.