Free Church of Scotland Moderator Rev. Donald G. Macdonald has signed a petition calling on four multinational companies (Coca-Cola, Nestle, Pepsico and Unilever) to take responsibility for their plastic waste in poorer countries as part of Tearfund's 'Rubbish Campaign'.
Tearfund's 'No Time To Waste' report outlined the harmful effects of unmanaged waste and warned of "increased illness and unnecessary deaths" if the current trajectory continues.
According to the report, every 30 seconds the UK throws away two double-decker busloads of plastic waste compared to 30 in developing countries. Plastic pollution also affects mortality rates in these areas with one person dying every 30 seconds due to plastic waste.
The report acknowledged the difficulties of the problem but insisted it can be addressed, "Plastic pollution has a direct impact on over half of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); they simply won't be met without tackling the crisis."
"Urgent action is needed to address the drivers of single-use plastic pollution upstream - ie the generation of plastic packaging - and downstream in the collection and management of plastic waste."
"The crisis is complex, but if all those who hold responsibility take the required action, it can be tackled."
Mr Macdonald explained why he was keen to sign the petition, "It is only when you try and do a plastic-free shop that you realise how much plastic we actually use in our day to day lives. The environmental and social impact of such over-use across the globe is undeniable."
"Tearfund is doing a great job of highlighting this issue and have targeted some major companies in their campaign to address the problem. God has given us a world to look after, and a responsibility for each other. I am happy therefore to support their campaign and also to make a personal effort to try and reduce the use of unnecessary plastics."
For more information about the campaign and to sign the petition click here
[Images: Chris Hoskins/Tearfund]