Swedish carmaker Volvo will remove single-use plastics from all its offices, canteens and events across the globe by the end of 2019. The decision reflects the company’s active support of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign and underlines its ambition to minimise its global environmental footprint.
The premium car maker will replace over 20 million single-use plastic items such as cups, food containers and cutlery with more sustainable alternatives, including biodegradable products made of paper, pulp and wood. This equates to the removal of over 500 plastic items per employee per year.
The switch will be implemented incrementally. By the end of 2018, single-use plastics will be removed from global events such as car launches, as well as from all offices and restaurants in Volvo Cars facilities in China, Belgium, the United States, Sweden and Malaysia.
During 2019, all national sales companies (NSCs) will eradicate single-use plastics from their operations, including local events. “Action from the private sector is key to making progress in the fight against plastic pollution and raising awareness. We cannot wait for a binding legislative agreement,” said Lisa Emelia Svensson, Director of Ocean at UN Environment. “In the next 10 to 15 years global plastic production is projected to nearly double, parts of which will end up in oceans if we do not change today. We welcome Volvo Cars saying no to single-use plastics and it’s great to see it leading by example.”
“Plastics pollution is one of the great environmental challenges of our time,” said Stuart Templar, Director for Sustainability at Volvo Cars. “We take our responsibility seriously. We must play our part in helping tackle this global problem.”
The company’s action on single-use plastics follows its EUR 300,000 support for the Volvo Ocean Race’s Science Programme. Several of the boats in the 2018-19 edition of the Race are equipped with sensors that are capturing data on marine health from some of the remotest parts of the world’s oceans, including levels of microplastics.