French yogurt maker and bottled water Danone is being delivered to courtroom by three environmental teams accusing it of failing to adequately cut back its plastic footprint.
Each teams mentioned the corporate behind Evian and Volvic mineral water had didn’t carry out its duties to function underneath pioneering French regulation.
The 2017 “obligation of vigilance” regulation mandates monitoring human rights and environmental issues inside massive French firms and their provide chains. It’s more and more being utilized by NGOs towards multinational firms, as a part of a rising pattern of local weather litigation.
Danone has been named, together with Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle, as one of many world’s high 10 plastic polluters, in accordance with Model audit in December.
Rosa Pritchard, lawyer Earth consumer“Danone is transferring ahead with no severe plan to sort out the plastic, regardless of the clear concern of local weather, well being and shopper specialists, and the authorized obligation to confront the issue,” mentioned one of many teams taking the motion. She added that the corporate’s necessary “Vigilance Plan”, itemizing the corporate’s environmental and social impacts, was “utterly silent on plastics”.
Danone has denied the accusation. We’re very stunned by this accusation, which we strongly refute. Danone has lengthy been acknowledged as a pacesetter in environmental danger administration, and we stay absolutely dedicated and decided to behave responsibly.
“We’re implementing a complete framework of actions aimed toward lowering plastic use, growing reuse, selling assortment and recycling schemes, and growing different supplies. We have now already made important progress on every of those fronts, significantly when it comes to plastic discount, for instance. , with a decline of 12% globally (60,000 tons in absolute phrases) between 2018 and 2021.”
She mentioned ending plastic air pollution can’t come from one firm, and requires the mobilization of all actors, public and business. “For this reason we’re in favor of adopting a legally binding worldwide treaty, underneath the auspices of the United Nations,” Danon mentioned.
The lawsuit, one in all a number of current authorized actions concentrating on plastic pollution, was filed on the Paris Judicial Courtroom this week. Surfrider, ClientEarth, and Zero waste FranceThey mentioned they needed the corporate to just accept accountability for its use of plastic.
“We wish Danone to republish its necessary obligation of care report and particularly account for plastic use, together with a concrete technique to cut back it,” mentioned Antidia Citores, spokesperson for Ocean Advocates. Surfrider Europe Basisto Reuters.
In September, the teams formally notified Danone, giving the corporate the chance to appropriate its “vigilance plan”. The corporate responded to the official notification letter, however the NGO argues that the response was inadequate and didn’t adequately tackle its claims.
The French regulation was launched after the 2013 Rana Plaza catastrophe in Bangladesh, wherein 1,100 individuals have been killed within the collapse of a clothes manufacturing facility utilized by Western trend manufacturers. The shortage of accountability for manufacturers has led to strain from human rights teams and others to marketing campaign for extra company duty.
Danone is current in 120 international locations, together with Indonesia and Turkey, which obtain a lot of the West’s plastic waste. Danone It has topped Indonesia’s plastic pollutant model audit score for the previous three years.
ClientEarth mentioned Danone yearly makes use of greater than 74 instances the burden of the Eiffel Tower in plastic. In 2021, it used 750,000 tons, greater than the 716,500 tons utilized in 2020, in accordance with its 2021 monetary report.
The teams are calling on judges in a civil courtroom in Paris to power the corporate to difficulty a brand new plan inside six months that features phasing out plastics.
The case is one in all a number of authorized circumstances introduced by NGOs following a landmark worldwide settlement to stem the rising tide of plastic waste. In March 2022, world leaders agreed to place in place a legally binding treaty over the subsequent two years that may cowl the complete life cycle of plastics from manufacturing to disposal.
Solely 9% of plastic waste It’s by no means recycled. Plastics are troublesome to recycle, gradual to decompose, costly and polluting to incinerate; It breaks down into small and widespread particles that enter the meals chain and trigger hurt to animals.
Over the previous seven many years, plastic manufacturing has risen from 1 million tons in 1950 to 460 million tons in 2019, and is predicted to triple by 2060. Most waste leads to landfills, in incinerators, or seeps into the atmosphere, in accordance with to me Group for Financial Cooperation and Growth.
Danone mentioned it’s dedicated, by 2025, to reusing, recycling or composting plastic packaging.