I love to talk rubbish. That’s why I found myself pulling on my Tearfund t-shirt last week and heading to the HQs of some of the world’s largest companies.
A group of us gathered outside the offices of Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever to deliver a strong message: Stop the rubbish.
These companies are selling billions of products in single-use plastic packaging, in countries where waste isn’t collected – so people are forced to live among piles of rubbish. And every 30 seconds, someone somewhere dies due to diseases caused by waste.
I stood with Dr Tiwonge Gawa, an ecologist and plastics campaigner from Malawi, who sees the devastating consequences of single-use plastic pollution on both the environment and people’s health every day.
Tiwonge told me: ‘At the rate that we are currently using plastic in Malawi, our country will soon be made of plastic. We are asking people to not use single-use plastic, and we are asking the industry to choose glass bottles instead of plastic ones.’
It’s vital that Coca-Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever listen to people such as Tiwonge. Since the launch of our Rubbish Campaign, an incredible 18,000 of us have signed a petition asking these companies to take responsibility for their plastic waste in developing countries.
Will you take 30 seconds now to join us, and to ask companies to stop being rubbish?
Clare Lyons, Tearfund Action