The popular BBC One television series Blue Planet II typifies media coverage drawing attention to the environmental damage caused by plastic waste. This programme points out the alarming global reach of plastic detritus, its chemical toxicity and appallingly harmful effects on wildlife and sea creatures. The problem has been deemed sufficiently severe that the UK Government has pledged to eradicate avoidable plastic waste as part of a 25-year plan.
While individuals can make personal decisions to reduce their plastics use, they are constrained by the choices available. Although supermarket chains appear to be making some efforts with plastic packaging, a recent ‘Which?’ report indicates that considerable progress is still required.
This is where ethical investing steps in. It can encourage change by supporting environmentally-minded companies while avoiding those that contribute to the problem.
Q G Rayer (2018), Ethical investing and the scourge of plastics, DISCUS, available at http://discus.org.uk/ethical-investing-and-the-scourge-of-plastics/, 3 pages, 15 November 2018.