Sky to scrap single-use plastic in products by 2020 in bid to tackle marine pollution

Media giant Sky has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastics from its operations, products and supply chain by 2020, as part of efforts to tackle plastic pollution in the oceans.

It will see new products such as the Sky Soundbox, launching later this year, arrive without any single-use plastic packaging wrapping the unit, cables and plugs.

By the end of 2017 all products will be made without any single-use plastics, and Sky has committed to help business partners and its supply chain transform their operations.

The company, which made the commitment under the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign that aims to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world's seas, has also eliminated single-use bottles, cutlery and straws from offices and operations across Europe.

Staff have been issued with reusable bottles - reducing plastic bottle use by more than 300,000 - and plastic cutlery has been replaced by items made from corn starch, the company said.

It is also creating a £25 million fund over five years to invest in innovation, businesses and start-ups which are developing technology to eradicate single-use plastics from supply chains and stop plastic ending up in the ocean.

Sky is partnering with environmental charity WWF to safeguard marine protected areas around the coastlines of European countries where it has operations, the UK and Ireland, Germany and Italy, with a campaign to encourage the public to adopt and protect and enhance coastal areas.

Sky's group chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, who is setting out the commitments at the EU Our Ocean Conference in Malta on Thursday, said: "We need to tackle one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters facing our planet - plastics in the ocean.

"The statistics are shocking - by 2050 the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than all the fish."

He said the company wanted to use its voice and reach to have a "positive effect on ocean health".

"We've been raising awareness through Sky Ocean Rescue but we want to go further, so today we are committing to eradicate single-use plastics from our own business operations by 2020, establish a new innovation fund to help solve the wider problem of plastic use, and partner with WWF to safeguard Marine Protected Areas," he said.

WWF-UK chief executive Tanya Steele said: "Our oceans are critical for all life on Earth. Yet these precious places are more threatened now than ever before because of pollution, overfishing and climate change.

"Businesses, governments and individuals all have a role in reversing the shocking decline in the health of our oceans - for our own well-being, as well as for future generations.

"I congratulate Sky on its bold ambitions to reduce stresses on our oceans, and look forward to supporting them in making a real difference to ocean health, for people and the planet."


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