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Global Plastics Alliance Meeting Advances Sustainability and Marine Litter Solutions

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Matthew Kastner
Camelia Vasile
Dima Horani
Ms. Malathy Balakrishnan
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PENANG, MALAYSIA (December 14, 2017) – Representatives from the Global Plastics Alliance (GPA) – which currently includes participation from 19 countries – met in Penang, Malaysia from December 13-15 to accelerate and advance The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, also known as the “Joint Declaration.” At the meeting – hosted by the Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association – the GPA welcomed new participant Acoplasticos (Colombia), the second association from South America. Other GPA participants came from Brazil, Canada, Europe, Ghana, India, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, and the United States.

“Plastic makers from across the globe are coming together to keep used plastic out of the environment, and to further improve the sustainability of these energy and resource efficient materials. The continued growth of the GPA proves that this industry is committed to providing solutions to ensure a more sustainable future” said Callum Chen, Secretary-General, Asia Plastics Forum. “As a united group we are leading the deployment of hundreds of marine litter prevention programs in all regions of the globe,” Chen added. “There is much to do, and we are building momentum.”

“We’re excited to welcome our colleagues from Columbia, which both continue the momentum of growth established in recent years, and deepens representation in the Americas” said Steve Russell, Vice President, American Chemistry Council, during the 28th annual GPA meeting.”

“Having the perspectives of so many countries – across four continents – helps us more quickly identify and advance effective solutions and strategies to improving sustainability,” said Karl Foerster, Executive Director, PlasticsEurope. “Marine litter is a complex problem that requires creative thinking and a holistic approach, as there will be no single solution.”

Discussion at the GPA included a focus on how GPA members can contribute to the consensus recommendation from the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly which identified waste management as the priority to addressing plastic marine debris. This included updating the Global Declaration that was launched in March 2011 at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference.

Today, the Declaration has been signed by 70 plastics associations from regions across the globe. Recognizing their important role in fighting marine litter, these plastics associations have launched and are supporting projects in six key areas aimed at contributing to sustainable solutions. The six focus areas of the Global Declaration are education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment.

--The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division represents leading companies dedicated to providing innovative solutions to the challenges of today and tomorrow through plastics. Ongoing innovations from America’s Plastics Makers™ have led to medical advances and safety equipment that make our lives better, healthier and safer every day. And advances in plastics are helping Americans save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease waste. Because plastics are such a valuable resource, the Plastics Division is leading efforts to “reduce, reuse, recycle and recover,” including through outreach, education and access to advances in recycling technology.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

PlasticsEurope

PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. We are networking with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU28 member states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The European plastics industry makes a significant contribution to the welfare in Europe by enabling innovation, creating quality of life to citizens and facilitating resource efficiency and climate protection. More than 1.45 million people are working in 62,000 companies (mainly small and medium sized companies in the converting sector) to create a turnover above 350 bn EUR per year. The plastics industry includes polymer producers – represented by PlasticsEurope, converters – represented by EuPC – and machine manufacturers – represented by EUROMAP. For further info see the web links:  www.plasticseurope.orgwww.plasticsconverters.euwww.euromap.org. Visit http://www.plasticseurope.org/

Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association

The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) represents the downstream hydrocarbon industry in the Arabian Gulf. Established in 2006, the association voices the common interests of more than 250 member companies from the chemical and allied industries, accounting for over 95% of chemical output in the Arabian Gulf region. The industry makes up the second largest manufacturing sector in the region, producing up to US$108billion worth of products a year. Visit http://www.gpca.org.ae/.

Asia Plastics Forum

The Asia Plastics Forum (APF) was formed in 1991 and currently comprise 12 member countries – Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. APF was established primarily to share and exchange information of the plastics industry concerning amongst others, the economics and issues related to the plastics industry. Recently, APF’s focus is addressing the misplaced perception of plastics on sustainability via the global network.

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