A global alliance of nearly 30 companies has been formed to advance products and technologies that reduce and eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.
The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has committed over $1 billion USD with the goal of investing $1.5 billion USD over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. New technologies and products will be developed and brought to scale that will minimize and manage plastic waste. This also includes the promotion products for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy.
The following companies are the founding members of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Clariant, Covestro, CP Group, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, Nova Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, Shell, Suez, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia and Versalis (Eni).
The alliance is a not-for-profit organization that includes companies from across the global plastics and consumer goods value chain: chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies.
The alliance will work with governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, non-government organizations and civil society to invest in joint projects to eliminate plastic waste from the environment.
Research by the Ocean Conservancy shows that plastics in the ocean predominantly originate from litter on land. Most of the plastic waste is spread through rivers and can be traced back to 10 major rivers around the world, mainly in Asia and Africa. Many of these rivers flow through densely populated areas which have a lack of adequate waste collection and recycling infrastructure, leading to significant waste leakage. The AEPW will initiate actions where they are most needed. This will include projects that contribute to solutions in four key areas:
- Infrastructure development to collect and manage waste and increase recycling;
- Innovation to advance and scale up new technologies that make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from post-use plastics;
- Education and engagement of governments, businesses, and communities to mobilize action; and
- Clean-up of concentrated areas of plastic waste in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste, such as rivers, that carry land-based waste to the ocean.
David Taylor, CEO at Procter & Gamble, and APEW chairman, said: ‘Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment. This is a complex and serious global challenge that calls for swift action and strong leadership. This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort to date to end plastic waste in the environment.’
In October last year, suppliers from across the labels and packaging supply chain signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, a global initiative to combat plastic waste and pollution.