Following the success of the 2015 Selfridges Project Ocean campaign, which saw all single-use plastic water bottles removed from its Birmingham and other stores – this year, Selfridges wants to inspire the whole of the UK to follow suit by banning single-use plastic carbonated drinks.
The soft drinks industry needs to change its approach to its strategy around sustainability if they are to address the significant environmental impact of plastics on our oceans, and a move to 100% re-usable bottles will pave the way to a more environmentally sound future.
Having already proved it can be done, Selfridges and its partners now want to inspire change across the wider sector by encouraging companies to help solve the issue by removing all single-use plastic carbonated drinks from their offices and retail outlets in order to encourage the end of throwaway plastic.
Alannah Weston, Deputy Chairman of Selfridges Group, said: “Our customers expect us to be responsible and our values underpin this requirement. We have supported the #OneLess campaign from 2016 which, as a result, has seen the Mayor promise to improve access to drinking water across London. We are seeing a huge shift in people’s attitudes to single-use plastic water bottles, and now, carbonated drinks. As a city, we still have a long way to go but we can encourage environmentally conscious behaviour from individuals, to manufacturers, and retailers. At Selfridges we want to continue to support that change and give our customers the choice to buy better.”
Driven by the unthinkable prediction that by 2025 our seas could contain one kilogram of plastic waste for every three kilograms of fish, Project Ocean 2018 will focus on building momentum behind the #OneLess project, an initiative born out of Project Ocean and run by international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and the Marine CoLABoration. The campaign celebrates London as a coastal city, inextricably linked to the ocean by The Thames, and is encouraging the capital’s diverse businesses, visitor attractions and residents to become single-use plastic water bottle free, and drive a ‘refill revolution’ across London.
Greenpeace UK’s Executive Director, John Sauven, said: “One of the world’s best-known retailers is sending a clear message to major drinks manufacturers that they need to reduce their use of plastic bottles. Selfridges has been highlighting marine conservation issues for nearly a decade. It is continuing to confront the crisis in our oceans by dealing with the problem of plastics at its source – banning the single-use plastic drinks bottles produced by carbonated soft drinks companies. This is a great move by Selfridges.
“There’s a raft of measures concerning product design and waste management which can also help to solve the plastic problem. But producing less plastic is essential. Coca-Cola alone churns out 127 billion plastic bottles a year, a quarter of the global total. Hopefully, Selfridges’ bold move will make soft drink giants have a rethink about their reliance on single-use plastic bottles.”
ZSL’s Head of Marine and Freshwater Conservation, and Director of the #OneLess campaign, Dr Heather Koldewey, said: “With the River Thames running through its heart, London is a coastal city and we are connected to the rest of the world through the ocean. As a vibrant and innovative capital, we have an amazing opportunity to be global leaders in the fight against plastic pollution, starting by removing the millions of single-use plastic bottles that litter our city and devastate the ocean. We hope many other retailers will follow Selfridges’ lead.”
By removing single-use carbonated drinks from its foodhalls and concessions, Selfridges is calling on everyone in the UK to switch to plastic-free alternatives such as aluminium cans and glass.