Volvo Cars launches a campaign to remove single-use plastics from all offices, canteens and events.
The Swedish automaker will replace more than 20 million single-use plastic items such as cups, food containers and cutlery with more sustainable alternatives, including biodegradable products made of paper, pulp and wood.
The switch will be gradual, but when it’s complete at the end of 2019 it will add up to the removal of more than 500 plastic items per employee a year, Volvo says.
By the end of this year, single-use plastics will be history at global events such as car launches, as well as from all offices and restaurants in Volvo Cars facilities in China, Belgium, the U.S., Sweden and Malaysia.
Volvo estimates this year’s measures will result in the replacement of more than 126 tons of single-use plastic items with plastic-free alternatives.
Next year, national sales companies will eradicate single-use plastics from their operations.
The decision reflects the automaker’s support of the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign and underlines its ambition to minimize its global environmental footprint.
Volvo Cars Director for Sustainability Stuart Templar says plastics pollution is one of the great environmental challenges of our time.
“We take our responsibility seriously,” Templar says in a statement. “We must play our part in helping tackle this global problem.”
Lisa Svensson, global director for Ocean UN Environment, says global plastic production is projected to double in the next 10 to 15 years.
“Action from the private sector is key to making progress in the fight against plastic pollution and raising awareness,” she says. “We cannot wait for a binding legislative agreement.”
Volvo’s move against single-use plastics follows its €300,000 ($353,000) support for the Volvo Ocean Race’s science program. Several of the boats in the 2018-2019 edition of the race are equipped with sensors capturing data on marine health from some of the remotest parts of the world’s oceans, including levels of microplastics.
Sales of the V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race special edition vehicles have contributed to this support. The car contains carpet inlays made from Econyl, a fabric made from 100% recycled nylon, including abandoned fishing nets reclaimed from the seabed.