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  • Press Release

Global Partners for Plastics Circularity, Financial Times Live Host Event on Zeroing Out Plastic Pollution

Matthew Kastner

WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2023) — In partnership with the Global Partners for Plastics Circularity (GPPC), Financial Times Live (FT) held a two-hour live, virtual event titled “Strategies Towards Reaching Zero Plastic Pollution.”

Featuring an extensive slate of experts and moderated by FT Commissioning Editor Neville Hawcock, the event examined many of the proposed solutions for eliminating plastic pollution in advance of the United Nations second intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC-2), which is developing a legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution.

Discussions featured thought leaders from multiple sectors engaged in eliminating plastic pollution, including NGO, plastics value chain, finance and government. Watch all the sessions in their entirety free on-demand.

Here are some of the most poignant quotes, slightly edited for length and clarity, from each speaker:

Walmir Soller, CEO, Braskem Netherlands
At the end of day, people will need cars, they will need buildings, they will need to preserve food. So what we need to compare is what are the alternatives to plastic to fulfill the same applications that use plastic today?
Bob Maughon, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer, SABIC
The plastics pollution challenge requires a more holistic approach than that which we have taken to date. It requires us to look at a balanced set of solutions, to advance technologies, to advance lower costs, more efficient, low carbon emitting solutions…it requires us to look at how we reduce the format and use of plastic materials through design for recycling. We have to look at new business models and closed loop solutions to manage the plastic through the value chain, as well as enabling infrastructure and having the right policy and regulations to help drive circularity in different geographies and locations around the world.
Victor Dewulf, CEO, Recycleye
I think one of the key things is that there’s no one solution that fits all. I think the main split is between countries that have very good collection and processing systems with those that may not already have that.
Erin Simon, Head of Plastic Waste and Business, World Wildlife Fund
If you think about small island states… they don’t have enough product or feedstock for recycling systems and some of them have large takeout cultures. If there’s not infrastructure to manage those materials, solutions should match what that community can serve. So that’s when really great reuse systems can be put into place to manage that.
Jihane Ball, Lead Sustainability Director, Dow
Countries have different starting points in terms of their infrastructure for waste management but also the policies that support waste management infrastructure… The global agreement to end plastic pollution needs to be that catalyst. It needs to recognize where countries are in their journey and that it equips them with different tools, like strategy toolkit for policies, capacity building and financing to help sustain a system once you begin to build it.
Bruno Carrasco, Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Asian Development Bank
We need to foster a culture of innovation and risk taking to promote those investments needed, including with the private sector, to advance the circular economy across all the stages of the cycle.
Eddy Mazuaansyah, Deputy Under Secretary, Environmental Management Division, Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Malaysia
The key message, within the context of the treaty, is not to only limit the end of life for plastics to mechanical recycling. We have to open up for other potential solutions and that might include chemical recycling.
Regula Schegg, Managing Director, Asia, Circulate Capital
80% of the leakage of plastic into the ocean and the waterways can be prevented by only applying existing technologies, existing management systems, and also supporting policies... However, a big part of that and why it’s not happening is because of lack of capital.

Go to plasticscircularity.org to learn more about GPPC, our ambition to tackle plastic pollution, and how a global agreement can accelerate progress.

American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division

The American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division represents America’s Plastic MakersSM and the half million+ scientists, engineers, technicians, and other innovators who make plastics for many essential and lifesaving products that are vital to modern life. America’s Plastic Makers continue to embrace change. We’re linking innovation with sustainability, deploying next generation technologies to make plastics lighter, stronger, more efficient and more recyclable, so we can meet our goal for 100% of U.S. plastic packaging to be reused, recycled, or recovered by 2040. We’re making sustainable change to help build a cleaner, safer, more sustainable future for generations to come. 

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.