During this past week Greenpeace activists have taken on retailers worldwide calling for an end to single-use plastics on store shelves. From Colombia to Hong Kong, Canada to Switzerland and beyond retailers need to stop selling us “throwaway” plastics and invest in refill and reuse systems, because there is no “away”. This powerful message was delivered in many ways globally this week by Greenpeace activists demonstrating plastic-free shopping outside of stores, through actions in the aisles, and by the delivery of petitions to retailer HQs.

The Reuse Revolution is here, and it’s unstoppable. People are taking action, all over the world, in their homes and communities to replace destructive throwaway plastic with reusable solutions. Over 5 million people have asked companies and governments to take the necessary, urgent measures to join this Reuse Revolution and to truly fight the plastic pollution crisis the world is facing. But so far, companies are mostly pushing false “solutions”—switching to other throwaway materials like paper or bioplastic, and relying more heavily on the already broken recycling system—to justify their addiction to single-use packaging. It is time to shift from single-use to reuse, and retailers have a key role to play in this change.

Retailers must help solve the plastic pollution crisis through transparency of their plastic addiction, beginning with the immediate removal of single-use plastic from their shelves and a substantial investment and commitment to innovative refill systems. They are the link between consumers and the companies making the products and have the power to push the brands and partner with them to drive change. One thing is clear, our voices are being heard, but to get real solutions from retailers we need your voice and actions too. Let’s make single-use plastics a thing of the past. Will you join us? #ReuseRevolution

Hong Kong

Greenpeace Hong Kong exhibits a mobile alternative supermarket model to encourage communities across the city to experience plastic-free shopping. © Tai Ngai Lung / Greenpeace


As part of the Reuse Revolution, Greenpeace Canada volunteers placed informational cards on supermarket shelves to demand unpackaged and bulk options. © Greenpeace


After releasing a Taiwan Retailer Plastic Reduction Ranking Report, Greenpeace activists in Taiwan created a “Plastic Free Demonstration store” for 3 weeks in 2 different cities demonstrating solutions for groceries without single-use plastic packaging © Greenpeace / mego lin


Greenpeace activists in Beijing collaborated with artist Jovanka Dorovic and a local artisan coffee shop for a “free coffee for reusable cup holders” weekend. © Dong Li / Greenpeace


Greenpeace activists in Switzerland confronted supermarket Aldi Suisse on their single-use plastic pollution, using refillable bottles to write “Zukunft” [future]. © Greenpeace / Ex-Press / Miriam Künzli


Greenpeace activists went shopping with reusable bags and pots to show alternatives and put pressure on retailers in Germany. © Martin Storz / Greenpeace

United States

Greenpeace USA activists delivered more than 220,000 petition signatures to Target’s corporate headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling on the company to take action and ultimately eliminate single-use plastics in its operations. © Annabelle Marcovici / Greenpeace


Activists from Greenpeace and Pacto X El Clima asked Colombian supermarket Éxito to stop using unnecessary plastics by exhibiting the plastic monster Éxito helps to create with its plastic waste. © Juliana Melo / Greenpeace


As part of the Reuse Revolution, Greenpeace Italy volunteers asked customers outside of supermarkets to unpackage their products from single-use plastic packaging and offered them reusable packaging alternatives that supermarkets should be using instead. © Greenpeace


Greenpeace activists organised a banquet outside the Senate of the Republic in Mexico City, to raise awareness on plastic and microplastic contamination in seafood, demanding legislators act to stop the plastic contamination crisis. © Ilse Huesca Vargas / Greenpeace

Robin Flaharty is the Global Resource Specialist for the Plastic-Free Future Campaign at Greenpeace USA.

Plastic Waste in Verde Island, Philippines. © Noel Guevara / Greenpeace
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