UK-based advertising major WPP has launched initiatives to tackle pollution from single-use plastics.


Image: WPP plans to phase out single-use plastics in its agency offices by 2020. Photo: Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay.

The firm has unveiled plans to phase out single-use plastics in its premises by the end of 2019 and will no longer buy or provide single-use plastics including bottles, straws, cutlery and cups in any of its 3,000-plus agency offices and campuses.

Additionally, the firm plans to make it easier for employees to recycle their own plastic materials at the office premises.

WPP also signed and became member of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led jointly by UN Environment and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which aims to address plastic waste and pollution at its source.

Other signatories to the initiative include Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SC Johnson, Coca-Cola, and Unilever.

WPP CEO Mark Read said: “Taking the plastic out of Wire & Plastic Products by phasing out single-use plastics in our offices is just the first step.

“People expect companies to act responsibly and help them live more sustainably, and our clients look to us to help them deliver brands with purpose. We look forward to working with partners across the industry and using our creativity, insight and scale to make a difference.”

The company is also planning to work with partners and clients to inspire consumers to think differently about plastic packaging and drive change; create more sustainable approaches to product and packaging design; and develop new systems for delivering and recycling products.

As part of this effort, the firm has already partnered Facebook to explore ways to work together to harness their collective global reach and drive action among consumers.

Global movement A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland said: “Plastic is a miracle material born from man’s creativity. But our misuse of plastic has now created an environmental disaster that our children will inherit if we don’t turn off the plastic tap fast.

“To have the full creative force of WPP focused on driving change at many levels will accelerate the pace globally. Bad design got us into this mess and good design will get us out of it.”