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Ocean Plastics Top Agenda for G7 Leaders – But Giant Consumer Brands Can Take the Lead

By Dave Armon

As world leaders gather in Canada for the G7 summit today, the topic of ocean plastic pollution is prominent on the agenda.

Stemming the tide of bags, bottles and other plastic packaging fouling our seas was also a priority for some 2,000 sustainability and corporate responsibility practitioners who gathered this week in Vancouver at the annual Sustainable Brands conference.

Consumer products giant Procter & Gamble illustrated its work tackling marine pollution through an interactive exhibit at the conference explaining how Head & Shoulders shampoo bottles now contain recycled plastic collected from beaches. The brand is supporting World Oceans Day June 8 and has been working with TerraCycle and Suez on the bottle collection and recycling program.

By 2030, P&G pledges to make all its packaging fully recyclable or reusable, power its manufacturing facilities with 100 percent renewable energy and have zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills. Progress against these goals can be found in the company’s recently published citizenship report.

At Sustainable Brands, we spoke with Virginie Helias, vice president of global sustainability for P&G, to hear how the Cincinnati-based CPG company will attack the ocean plastics crisis as part of a progressive ESG agenda that also includes dialog with consumers about responsible consumption.

“We are really here talking about partnering with the 5 million people we serve everyday through our brands and leveraging the nearly 200 years of innovation at P&G to enable and inspire responsible consumption,” said Helias.


Image credit: Procter & Gamble

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Dave Armon is the Chief Executive Officer of 3BL Media, which produces the 3BL Forum and ranks the 100 Best Corporate Citizens. A former journalist, Dave spent 20 years in management at PR Newswire, where he was president and COO.  

Read more stories by Dave Armon