Stopping The Economist from using single-use plastic wraps

The Economist has 1.4 million readers. In the second half of 2018, almost 900,000 copies were printed, each of which came with a plastic wrap. Each plastic wrap boasted the recycling symbol. But is it enough to say that this piece of single-use plastic that you are holding is recyclable? What guarantee is there that each wrap will reach a recycling centre, and not the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Economist

To tackle this issue, I created a petition on and wrote to the then-CEO of the Economist Group, Mr Chris Stibbs. As well as highlighting the scale of the issue, I urged him to take the much-needed action of switching to some of the alternative wrappers. I pursued this relentlessly and I was not disappointed. The Economist Group listened to our voices and the printed magazine is now delivered in a biodegradable OK compost wrapper! This means that the Economist readers can now simply dispose the wrapper in their garden compost without worrying about contributing to plastic pollution.


I would like to thank all those who supported me through this journey. Together, we stopped the circulation of over a million plastic wrappers per year! 


The Economist Group has taken this initiative and set an example for others to follow. With one of the largest audiences, The Economist magazine is in a good place to reach out to people and tell them to reduce their reliance on single-use plastic.

If you have read this far, take this as inspiration to change something within your sphere of influence. It can be something as small as carrying a bag when you go for shopping or something as big as writing to local supermarkets and urging them to ditch the plastic wrap around fresh produce. It is crucial that we take action now to avoid disappointment. It is a race against time, a race for the integrity of our environment, a race for our future. Saving our planet is a collective responsibility and I hope you will do your part.