EUR | Big Brands Put on Notice for Plastic Waste Failures

After failing to produce “Duty of Vigilance” plans for managing the impact of plastic waste caused by their products, nine “Big Food” corporations – including McDonald’s, Nestlé, and Danone – have been put on notice by a coalition of lawyers and environmental NGOs.

The plans are mandatory under French law, and the coalition says the companies implicated have either not bothered or created insufficient plans.

The coalition includes ClientEarth, Zero Waste France and NGO Surfrider Foundation Europe. With the notice issued last week, each implicated company has three months to rectify its shortcomings with an appropriate response or face legal action.

Duty of Vigilance was introduced in France in 2017 and required any company with more than 5,000 local employees or 10,000 internationally to publish an annual vigilance plan identifying the environmental and social risks stemming from their activities and those of their subsidiaries, suppliers and subcontractors.

Given the failure to create adequate plans or any plans at all, the coalition is demanding that all nine companies produce a complete assessment of their use of plastic, encompassing all their activities throughout the value chain.

On the basis of these assessments, they must then put together a “deplastification” plan with quantified and dated objectives and act on it.