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  • 29 Oct 2018

Industry signs up to new circular plastics economy initiative

The labels and packaging supply chain has signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Suppliers from across the labels and packaging supply chain have signed up to a new global initiative to combat plastic waste and pollution.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment has been established to combat plastic waste and pollution by uniting over 250 businesses, governments and other organizations from around the world behind a common vision and a set of 2025 targets to address the problem at its source. It is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment has already mobilized over 250 signatories to start building a circular economy for plastic. These include companies representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally, some of which are well-known consumer businesses such as Danone, H&M Group, L’Oréal, Mars Inc., PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Carrefour, Nestle, Diageo, Kellogg's, M&S, and Target Corporation. Packaging producers such as Amcor, plastics producers including Novamont and resource management specialist Veolia are also signatories.

UPM Raflatac, Constantia Flexibles, Henkel, HP, Inc, Flexible Packaging Europe and Mondi are further signatories to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

Mondi CEO Peter Oswald said: ‘We are all well aware of the challenge facing our oceans and landfills as a result of poor waste management. But plastic should never become a waste product, it should retain its economic value. As business leaders we need to seize this opportunity to make a positive difference, not only for the world we live in today but for future generations too.’

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and its vision for a circular economy for plastic are supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and have been endorsed by the World Economic Forum, The Consumer Goods Forum (a CEO-led organization representing some 400 retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries), and 40 universities, institutions and academics. More than 15 financial institutions with in excess of US$2.5 trillion in assets under management have also endorsed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Over US$200 million has been pledged by five venture capital funds to create a circular economy for plastic.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment aims to create ‘a new normal’ for plastic packaging. All business and government signatories have signed up to a clear set of 2025 targets underpinned by shared definitions. Targets will be reviewed every 18 months and become increasingly ambitious over the coming years. Businesses that sign the commitment will publish annual data on their progress to help drive momentum and ensure transparency.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: ‘The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic. This is just one step on what will be a challenging journey, but one which can lead to huge benefits for society, the economy and the environment. I encourage all businesses and governments to go further and embark on a race to the top in the creation of a circular economy for plastic. One in which this material never becomes waste or pollution.’

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