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“World's Plastics Associations Renew Commitments to Improve Sustainability”
Kuala Lumpur (November 20, 2013) – Today at the 24th Global Meeting on Plastics and Sustainability, the world’s leading plastics associations announced continued progress since the launch of the Global Declaration of the Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter in March, 2011, which at that time identified 100 projects. There are now more than 140 industry projects tackling marine litter. At the three-day meeting, participants also discussed strategies to address sustainability and called on other plastics producers, as well as brand owners, retailers and institutions, to consider undertaking similar efforts.
Plastics associations from Malaysia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, South Africa, and the United States analyzed current projects to prevent littering, with a specific emphasis on plastic. As a result they called for improvements in plastic resource recovery and waste management, since 80 percent of marine litter originates from land.
“Improving plastic recovery so that all plastics are collected and used as a valuable resource for recycling and energy production is the most important step to prevent marine litter in the future,” said Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council.
Russell called on governments around the world to integrate the issue of littering into their national waste management strategies and to increase public awareness about marine litter and its impact on marine ecosystems. “Every piece of litter has its owner,” he concluded.
The plastics industry also made clear that more involvement of leaders from other business sectors is necessary.
“We believe that strategic partnerships with intergovernmental organizations, NGOs and marine researchers offer a good opportunity for real progress, particularly on resource recovery. Our industry has proven that it is determined to actively contribute to prevent marine litter. Therefore we now need the involvement of others to take our actions to the next level,” said Russell.
“Emerging technologies such as energy recovery and integrated recycling programs are possible solutions to prevent marine litter in particular in regions without integrated waste management infrastructure, in coastal areas with large populations, and on small islands nations. This requires working together with all interested organizations in partnerships,” Russell pointed out.