Major companies pledge to end plastic waste in packaging by 2025

Volunteers separate different brands and types of plastic bottles collected in the annual "Big Bottle Count" on the bank of the River Thames, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(WTHR) — A group of huge companies is promising to help fix the world's plastic pollution problem by vastly reducing plastic waste by 2025.

Since the 1950s, scientists estimate humans are responsible for more than 8 billion tons of plastic waste across the world. Now, a small group of corporations believed to be responsible for creating a fifth of the world's plastic packaging are chipping in to help end plastic waste.

Mars, L'Oreal, Unilever and Coca Cola are joining 250 other groups focusing on innovation to eliminate single-use plastic packaging by 2025. The goal is to have packaging that can be easily reused, recycled or composted by 2025.

It's a campaign created by British woman Dame Ellen MacArthur. She told the Daily Mail, "We know cleaning up plastics from beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year. We need to move upstream to the source of the flow."

The largest accumulation of ocean plastic lies in the waters between Hawaii and California. It's known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Researchers estimate there are about 800,000 tons of plastic garbage there, covering an area about twice the size of Texas.

Both the United Nations and the World Wildlife Fund are supporting the campaign.

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