Don’t bank on plastics

Plastic Free July is a recurring annual campaign that encourages people to reduce their use of plastic. Building on that interest, ECCR are challenging Christians to direct their actions on plastic further up the supply chain and confront those financing the plastic crisis in the first place.

The Don’t Bank on Plastics campaign calls on banks to stop financing the biggest plastic polluters, and targets familiar high street names such as Barclays, HSBC and NatWest. Banks don’t usually get mentioned in the fight against plastic waste, but Barclays is a huge funder of single-use plastics, according to the Plastic Waste Makers Index. Together, the world’s biggest banks poured $1.7 trillion into plastics between 2015 and 2019 – that’s equivalent to $790 million every single day.

Plastic is big business, and targeting the banks, rather than focusing on individual actions, is more likely to drive wider scale change. “Many of us – in our homes and churches – have cut down on single-use plastic packaging” says Rosie Venner, manager of ECCR’s Money Makes Change programme. “This is important but it’s not enough. The system needs to change.”

ECCR are suggesting that people write to their bank about plastic, and there is a portal for doing so here.

“Banks have a vital role to play in tackling plastic pollution,” says Venner. “As customers we can use our voice to call for change. We can ask banks to limit their financing of the biggest plastic producers and polluters, engage with companies for change, and play their part in ending the plastic crisis.”

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