“Success will require collaboration and coordinated efforts across many sectors – some that create near-term progress and others that require major investments with longer timelines."
Heavyweights from global plastic and consumer goods companies have launched a new organisation to work on solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment. Names such as Procter & Gamble, LyondellBasell, Dow Chemical, BASF and Henkel are just a few companies behind the non-profit organisation called Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW).
With a commitment to spend more than $1 billion to reduce waste, and an objective to raise $1.5bn over the next five years, it is claimed to be the largest cross-value chain initiative of its kind. It is specifically targeting ocean plastic waste.
Launched earlier this week in the UK, the alliance is made up of chief executives from across the global plastics value chain, including chemical and plastics manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, waste management companies and partner organisations.
By combining resources, new technologies to improve waste management can be scaled up more easily.
The alliance will focus on four key areas: Infrastructure development; Fostering innovation in recycling and reuse; Education and engagement with the public; and efforts to clean up existing plastics waste in the environment.
“Success will require collaboration and coordinated efforts across many sectors – some that create near-term progress and others that require major investments with longer timelines. Addressing plastic waste in the environment and developing a circular economy of plastics requires the participation of everyone across the entire value chain and the long-term commitment of businesses, governments, and communities. No one country, company or community can solve this on their own,” said Antoine Frérot, CEO at waste management firm Veolia (@Veolia) and vice chairman of the AEPW (@EndPlasticWaste).
Research from the Ocean Conservancy shows that nearly 80% of plastic waste in the ocean begins as litter on land, the vast majority of which travels to the sea by rivers. In fact, one study estimates that over 90% of river borne plastic in the ocean comes from 10 major rivers around the world – eight in Asia, and two in Africa. 60% of plastic waste in the ocean can be sourced to five countries in Southeast Asia.
“While our effort will be global, the Alliance can have the greatest impact on the problem by focusing on the parts of the world where the challenge is greatest; and by sharing solutions and best practices so that these efforts can be amplified and scaled-up around the world,” said Peter Bakker, President and CEO of World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The following companies are the founding members of the Alliance: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A., Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).
Representatives from BASF, Procter & Gamble, BASF, Braskem and Exxon Mobil will be speaking at this year's World Bio Markets Conference, the leading assembly for the bio-based economy, which takes place from 1-3 April in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.