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Global Plastics Industry Launches Action Plan for Solutions on Marine Litter


Contact: Jennifer Killinger (202) 249-6619  
Email: jennifer_killinger@americanchemistry.com

The American Chemistry Council Joined Global Plastics Leaders in Dubai

DUBAI (November 17, 2011) – The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Plastics Division joined plastics industry leaders from across the world in Dubai this week to create a global action plan for solutions on marine litter. The resulting plan describes actions to be taken and progress to be reported by signatories in 2012. As of today approximately 100 projects have been identified, which will be carried out in 32 countries, in addition to the global activities supported by all signatories.

Recognizing that solutions to marine litter will require global cooperation, the plastics industry is inviting interested stakeholders to join in this action, and also to apply their energy and creativity to developing complementary programs to prevent marine litter.

“Committing to a global action plan that will help bring about solutions for marine litter is a great step forward for the plastics industry,” said Steve Russell, Vice President of plastics for the American Chemistry Council. “The global plastics industry is determined to do its part and to play a constructive role in building new partnerships to create solutions for marine litter,” Russell added.

“Plastics makers from around the globe agree that our products don’t belong in world’s oceans,” said Russell. “And, plastics are valuable resources even after use.  We look forward to working with partners to implement solutions that keep more valuable plastics in productive use through improved stewardship and expanded infrastructure to grow recycling and energy recovery.”

The activities undertaken by the global plastics industry will be publicly available at: www.marinelittersolutions.org. The website has been launched in English, and will over time display the content in different languages. Other North American plastics associations—including the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association—also attended this week’s global meeting.

The "Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter,” which was announced in March at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference, has been adopted by 54 plastics industry organizations so far. It outlines a six-point strategy for industry action, and advocates close cooperation with a broad range of stakeholders to create solutions for the marine environment. By way of example, initiatives where our industries already have been involved include: Vacances Propres in France, Keep America Beautiful in the US, Cool Seas in the UK, and the International Coastal Cleanup in South Africa. These initiatives will serve as a catalyser for further action in other regions.

Amongst the activities that the industry is implementing within the joint declaration is a partnership with The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP). GESAMP is an advisory body to the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. The plastics industry has committed to support GESAMP’s effort to evaluate the sources, fate and effects of micro-plastics in the marine environment. “We are proud to join the GESAMP initiative as one part of our industry’s effort to better understand and prevent marine litter,” Russell said.

For more information, see www.marinelittersolutions.org.

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