Multinational IT equipment and services giant Fujitsu has unveiled a sweeping new set of plastics reduction pledges, covering bags, drinks bottles, cups, straws and other packaging.
Published today (11 June), the pledges include a commitment to reduce the number of plastic bottles sold through vending machines located in its shops, meeting spaces and cafes annually from seven million to zero. Suppliers for these machines will be asked to provide soft drinks housed in aluminium cans or paper-based cartons as an alternative.
The switch for soft drinks containers, expected to be complete in 2020, will be complemented by a ban on plastic cups and straws in Fujitsu’s meeting spaces and cafes, which is being implemented immediately.
Fujitsu has additionally committed to remove plastic bags from its own stores and from all shops on company property. It has not set a deadline for completing this action but has confirmed that it will be bolstered by a behaviour change campaign aimed at encouraging employees to carry reusable bags.
The Japanese firm said that these actions will be compounded by increased collaboration with third-party recycling, waste management and second-hand goods companies during the second half of 2019.
“Recently, oceanic pollution from plastic waste has been spreading and there are concerns about the impact on the ecosystem due to the harm caused by oceanic plastic waste to many marine animals,” Fujitsu said in a statement.
“The Fujitsu Group perceives this as one of the most important global environmental issues next to climate change.”
The moves build on Fujitsu’s recent work to make 100% of its plastic packaging recyclable and its campaign last year to educate staff and consumers about the 8-12 million tonnes of plastics estimated to be seeping into oceans annually. In October 2018, it published a free video about the issue, which has since been used widely by NGOs, local governments and corporates, in several languages.
Looking to the future, the company’s next key focus area regarding plastics will be its supply chain. It will use innovative materials to replace plastic packaging used by suppliers at all levels and ask individual employees to put forward their own solutions.
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