Vibrant Oceans

Vibrant Oceans

Vibrant OceansOceans cover more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and are home to an abundance of mammals, fish, plants and other life forms. Marine litter is a serious global challenge that threatens ocean ecosystems. Effective solutions require action and strong partnerships to increase litter prevention; reduce, reuse and recycle materials; grow the waste management infrastructure; and develop sustainable end use markets for collected materials.

The Science Behind Sustainability

Sustainability Challenge:

Littered plastics packaging and other materials can end up as debris in oceans and other water ways, disturbing water ecosystems and causing harm to ocean life.

Chemistry Solution:

Enhanced technologies and processes to accelerate the reuse, recycling and recovery of plastics packaging.

Sustainability Benefit:

The U.S. plastics industry’s commitment to reuse, recycle or recover all plastics packaging by 2040 will enhance efforts to keep waste out of the ocean and recover the value of discarded materials.

Plastic packaging keeps foods, medicine, cosmetics and a host of other products we rely on fresh, sanitary and clean. Often, plastics can provide these benefits using significantly fewer resources and with lower environmental impacts than alternatives.

However, more must be done to increase recycling, recovery and reuse of plastics so that they do not contaminate our environment.

The American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Plastics Division has set three ambitious goals to guide and accelerate the capture, recycling and recovery of plastics packaging:

  1. By 2040, 100% of plastics packaging is reused, recycled or recovered.  
  2. By 2030, 100% of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable. 
  3. By 2022, 100% of the North American manufacturing sites operated by ACC’s Plastics Division members will participate in Operation Clean Sweep-Blue to keep plastics out of water ways.  

Plastics Inforgraphic Meeting these goals will require plastics manufacturers to continue to innovate and develop new products designed for greater efficiency and recycling, as well as to develop technologies and infrastructure that better separate materials at recovery facilities.

In addition, plastics manufacturers will partner with innovators and develop new business models to optimize technologies that can break down used plastics into their basic chemical building blocks, to extend the life and value of these molecules as raw materials that can be manufactured into entirely new products.


Chemistry in Action