INSIGHT by ClientEarth

Nine Big Food corporations served notice last year are still failing to tackle plastic pollution.

New report analyses how the companies are living up to their duties under the French ‘Duty of Vigilance’ law.

None of the companies have a clear ‘deplastification’ trajectory for moving away from the single-use plastic business model.


Nine major European ‘Big Food’ companies are failing to make sufficient efforts to ‘deplastify’ and reduce their use of plastic at source, a new report suggests – one year after environmental organisations put them on notice.

Last year, ClientEarth, Surfrider Foundation Europe and Zero Waste France served legal notice to nine food companies for failing to manage the plastic pollution stemming from their business models.

Today, our partner NGOs Surfrider Europe and Zero Waste France have measured their progress in a new report. Findings suggest that there may have been a shift in industry mindset, as the companies are now more aware of the risks associated with plastic and recognise the need to ‘deplastify’. However, concrete action is still falling far short of what is needed.

The French ‘Duty of Vigilance’ law requires companies to assess and mitigate the impacts their operations have on the environment and human rights by publishing a ‘vigilance plan’. The new report analyses how these companies – including household names like Nestlé and Danone – are managing to live up to their duties under this law.

Among the nine companies we put on notice – Nestlé France, Danone, McDonalds France, Carrefour, Groupe Casino, Les Mousquetaires, Auchan, and Picard, there continues to be a distinct reliance on single-use plastic. There is also a continued focus on strategies with limited impact, such as recycling. None of the companies have published a clear deplastification trajectory that outlines how they will transition their business model away from single-use plastic.


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