Combining citizen science and community organizing to hold plastic polluting companies accountable globally since 2018. Join us in our 6th year of brand audits in 2023 by organizing an event with a group or on your own!
Break Free From Plastic’s global brand audit is a citizen science initiative that involves recording data on plastic waste to help identify the companies responsible for plastic pollution and hold them accountable.
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We believe that the best way to address plastic pollution is for companies to stop producing so much plastic in the first place. That’s why we are mobilizing volunteers around the world with brand audits to hold companies accountable for their role in manufacturing the plastic pollution crisis and catalyze systemic change. By combining people power with data evidence, brand audits are the Break Free From Plastic movement’s tool for pressuring companies to:
REVEAL their total plastic footprint REDUCE the amount of plastic they produce REDESIGN their packaging for refill and reuse
Through brand audits, Break Free From Plastic is working towards several long term goals.
Shift the narrative.
By collecting data on plastic waste, we strengthen our ability to change the story we have been told about who is responsible for the plastic pollution crisis and how to solve it. With brand audits, we shift the narrative of responsibility back to the companies that created the plastic pollution crisis in the first place to expose their false solutions and demand real change.
Hold plastic polluting companies accountable.
In our annual brand audit report, we reveal the data showing which companies were found to pollute the most places with the most plastics, and describe the changes we want to see from them. This holds the top polluting companies accountable for their leading role in the plastic pollution crisis and pressures them to do better.
Build a global movement.
Our brand audit initiative relies on our collective people power to stand up to these big companies. We are committed to building a strong, diverse, resilient and inclusive movement that represents those who seek a future free from plastic pollution - from one end of the plastic pipeline to the other - because this is key to shifting policies, companies, and culture.
Changing the System at the Source
No matter how hard we may try as individuals to avoid buying plastic and recycle whenever possible, this will unfortunately never be enough because plastic pollution is a systemic crisis that requires systemic solutions. The rate at which companies continue to extract fossil fuels to manufacture more plastic packaging significantly undermines the impact of our individual efforts.
To truly solve the plastic pollution crisis, we must move beyond individual action and organize collectively to address the problem at the source by fundamentally changing the way companies deliver their products to people.
That’s why we are calling on these polluting companies to stop producing so much unnecessary single-use plastic in the first place. Instead, we urge these companies to move towards real solutions that eliminate the need for single-use plastic packaging altogether.
Supporting Real Solutions
Communities around the world are already taking matters into their own hands to create solutions focused on plastic reduction. People are supporting new business models using community-based reuse and refill systems.
Alternative delivery systems are popping up everywhere, eliminating our reliance on single-use plastic packaging. And extended producer responsibility laws are requiring companies to pay the full cost for the collection and waste treatment at the end of life of their products.
Even as this groundbreaking work is growing, companies are continuing to pump unmanageable single-use plastic into these same communities. Companies sell us everything from drinks, snacks, soap, and even fruits and vegetables packaged in single-use plastic. It’s time for these companies to support our communities by investing in alternatives and phasing out single-use plastic once and for all.
Gathering Data for the Annual Global Report
Since 2018, thousands of Break Free From Plastic members all over the world have organized hundreds of brand audits every year to gather data and call out the world’s top polluters, resulting in our annual global “BRANDED” reports. Thanks to the hard work of our brand audit leaders that forms the basis of these reports, we have collectively created some exciting impacts! Major international news outlets have written about our report amplifying the call for holding corporate polluters accountable and influencing the dominant plastics narrative.
BFFP members have used brand audit data to ban plastics, create zero waste communities and plastic-free schools, file lawsuits against top polluting companies, and advocate for policy change. We’ve even seen top polluting companies announce new sustainability commitments! This is a big step in the right direction, but these commitments are still not ambitious enough, so our work with brand audits continues.
Brand Audit Public Events
Want to get involved in a brand audit event happening near you? Check out the map below to find and join an upcoming brand audit in your community!
Ready to join us?
We need your help! The more brand audit data we gather from as many places as possible, the more power we have to challenge the top polluting companies. Whether you are organizing on your own, with a small group, or with a large NGO, all brand audit data makes a difference.
Sign up now for a step-by-step guide to conduct a #BreakFreeFromPlastic brand audit and become a part of this worldwide movement to stand up and say, “Enough is enough” on plastic pollution.