Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Hundreds of organizations pledge to eliminate plastic waste

Hundreds of organizations pledge to eliminate plastic waste

With more than 250 signatories, from producers, brands and retailers, to investors, recyclers, governments and NGOs, the Global Commitment aims to build a circular economy for plastic.

That is why on Monday we launched the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment program.

Over 250 organisations including numerous world's largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments have signed and Bangor University is one of 40 global universities to have made this commitment.

"What began as a result of the Industrial Revolution is now seriously out of control, and we need to reset the parameters and work out what success looks like for that industry", says, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ellen MacArthur. The Commitment aims to create a "new normal" for plastic packaging by eliminating single-use packaging materials, increasing the amount of reused or recycled plastics in new products and innovate to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025. They include the world's largest food and beverage brands: Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, The Coca Cola Co., Mars and Danone are among those who have signed up to the commitment.

Targets included in the pledge will be reviewed every 18 months, and become "increasingly ambitious" in the coming years, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation said. All businesses that have signed up to the Commitment will publish annual progress data.

Said UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim, "Ocean plastic is one of the most visible and disturbing examples of a plastic pollution crisis". If this rate continues for the next decades or so, there could be more plastic than fishes in the ocean by 2050. More than $200 million has been pledged to create a circular economy for plastic. But plastic should never become a waste product, it should retain its economic value.

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Since 2002 sustainability has been at the heart of Albéa's business strategy - inventing packaging with lower environmental footprint through use of Life-Cycle Analysis software, eco-design guidelines, plastic weight reduction, development of recyclable packaging, use of post-consumer recycled and bio-based plastics as well as partnerships with recycling industries and associations.

Last week, the European Parliament voted for a complete ban on single-use plastic items, including straws and cutlery, in a bid to curb pollution.

Participation to the initiative is not limited to big brands in the retail and manufacture sectors as more than fifteen financial institutions, particularly those with more than $2.5 million in assets under management, have also pledged their support for the Global Commitment.

Pernod Ricard's chairman & CEO, Alexandre Ricard, said the problem of plastic pollution wasn't "a new one, but it feels that we have now reached a tipping point".

Greenpeace wants a stronger emphasis in reducing the amount of plastic put in circulation.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle - three of the signatories of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment - were recently named as the world's worst plastic polluters.

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