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Global Alliance Advancing Solutions to Eliminate Plastics Waste in the Oceans

Global awareness and concern about plastic waste in the oceans is continuing to grow. Research from the Ocean Conservancy shows that up to 80 percent of ocean plastic starts out on land, much of it coming from rapidly developing countries that have yet to build systems to manage local waste.

An alliance of global companies representing the plastics industry, consumer product manufacturers and waste management companies, formed a new nonprofit organization to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.

This Alliance to End Plastic Waste has committed over $1 billion to this work so far, with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. The Alliance will work with manufacturers, technology developers, the finance community, governments and civil society around the world to develop and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy.

The Alliance plans to focus investments in four key areas:

  1. Expanding infrastructure to collect, manage and recycle used plastics, particularly in high-leakage regions.
  2. Accelerating innovations in packaging design and technology that increase efficiency and create value from post-use plastics.
  3. Promoting education and engagement among governments, businesses and communities.
  4. Cleaning up concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment—especially in rivers that carry land-based waste to the ocean.

These investments complement existing commitments undertaken by individual Alliance members to use and reuse material resources, and commitments by plastics makers in the United States, Canada and Europe to recycle or recover 100 percent of plastic packaging by 2040.

The Alliance will start with an initial group of projects, including:

  1. Partnering with cities to design integrated waste management systems in large urban areas where infrastructure is lacking, especially those along rivers which transport vast amounts of unmanaged plastic waste from land to the ocean.
  2. Providing funds to the Incubator Network by Circulate Capital, launched at the G7 in September 2018.
  3. Developing a global information project to support waste management systems with data, metrics, standards and methodologies.
  4. Collaborating with the United Nations and other organizations to conduct joint trainings and workshops for government and community leaders.
  5. Supporting the nonprofit Renew Oceans to help capture waste from 10 high-leakage rivers in Asia before it reaches the ocean.

The following companies are the founding members of the Alliance: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SealedAir, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).

About the author
American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $486 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

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