Nestlé and Tesco Join Global Ghost Gear Initiative
Nestlé, the world’s biggest food company, and Tesco, the U.K.’s biggest supermarket chain, joined the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia this week.
Founded in 2014, the GGGI is the only global alliance of its kind dedicated to tackling the problem of ghost fishing gear at a global scale. Ghost gear refers to abandoned, lost and discarded fishing nets, lines and traps which can persist in the environment for up to 600 years. GGGI estimates that over 640,000 tons of fishing gear ends up in the world's oceans each year and that an estimated five to 30 percent of the decline in some fish stocks can be attributed to ghost gear. Ghost gear is also a significant contributor to marine microplastic pollution.
The GGGI has also announced new commitments to the cause:
• The GGGI will support 30 projects addressing ghost gear in 15 countries by 2025 where the need is the greatest
• The GGGI is pledging to double the financial commitment from its members, supporting organizations and governments to $2 million in 2019 to ensure the effective scaling of projects aimed at addressing and preventing the problem of ghost gear, especially in developing countries. The U.K. Government is committing over £100,000 for work in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and providing training on the management of fishing gear in other Commonwealth countries. The Netherlands Government is committing €100,000 towards continued project work in Indonesia
• The GGGI will work with three certifications schemes, all 13 GGGI signatory countries and UN FAO to implement best practice management of fishing gear by 2021 including the uptake of the recently adopted UN FAO Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear. Overall, the GGGI pledges to help establish baselines and contribute to achieve a net reduction of ghost gear on an annual basis by 2030.
Nestlé also joined other businesses and governments in signing The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and U.N. Environment. It aims to rethink the future of plastics by applying the principles of circular economy, in which plastics never become waste. Nestlé has set the goal of making 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. To achieve this goal, Nestlé has embarked on several research projects including the NaturAll Bottle Alliance, which aims to develop 100 percent bio-based PET to be used for its water business.