Climate activists staged a protest on Wednesday inside the climate change COP26 venue in Glasgow condemning Unilever as key partner for the climate change conference. The protesters, including those from Indonesia, said the company is one of the top global plastic polluters.
Last month, the Break Free from Plastic Movement (BFFPM) released its 2021 Global Brand Audit report, revealing the worst consumer goods brands contributing to the plastic pollution crisis. The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo have been named the top plastic polluters for the fourth year in a row, and Unilever has risen to third place in the same year.
The climate activists dubbed Unilever's role at COP26 to be "very embarrassing considering that 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels." They said that brands like Unilever are enabling plans for fossil fuel companies to shift their focus to plastics as the energy sector decarbonises, and consumer brands' use of plastic packaging stands in the way of a fossil-free future.
"In Indonesia, we saw that "U" made many empty promises related to recycling. What they promised to recycle of the plastics produced by them was not done," said Yuyun Ismawati, from the Zero Waste Indonesia/Nexus3 Alliance.
This story was originally published in VIVA.co.id in Bahasa Indonesia on November 10, 2021. It was produced as part of the 2021 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews' Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.
Banner image: Activists Protest the Engagement of Plastic Producers at COP26 / Credit: April 'Ochi' Rochimawati.