The cross value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), has pledged US$1 billion with the goal of investing US$1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.
“Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment. This is a complex and serious global challenge that calls for swift action and strong leadership. This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort to date to end plastic waste in the environment. I urge all companies, big and small and from all regions and sectors, to join us,” said David Taylor, chairman of the Board, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble and chairman of the AEPW.
The Alliance will 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. It includes companies that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics. It also involves chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters and waste management companies.
“History has shown us that collective action and partnerships between industry, governments and NGOs can deliver innovative solutions to a global challenge like this,” said Bob Patel, CEO LyondellBasell, and a vice chairman of the AEPW. “The issue of plastic waste is seen and felt all over the world. It must be addressed and we believe the time for action is now.”
The NGO works with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as a founding strategic partner. It also announced an initial set of projects and collaborations to help end plastic waste.
The Alliance is supporting Renew Oceans to aid localised investment and engagement. The program is designed to capture plastic waste before it reaches the ocean from the 10 major rivers shown to carry the vast majority of land-based waste to the ocean. The initial work will support the Renew Ganga project, which is supported by the National Geographic Society.
In the future, the NGO will make additional investments and drive progress in four key areas. Infrastructure development to collect and manage waste and increase recycling; innovation to advance and scale new technologies to make recycling plastics easier and create value from all post-use plastics; education and engagement of governments, businesses and communities and clean up of concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment, particularly in rivers and oceans.
“Success will require collaboration and coordinated efforts across many sectors – some that create near-term progress and others that require major investments with longer timelines. Addressing plastic waste in the environment and developing a circular economy of plastics requires the participation of everyone across the entire value chain and the long term commitment of businesses, governments, and communities. No one country, company or community can solve this on their own,” said Veolia CEO Antoine Frérot, a vice chairman of the AEPW.
Research from the Ocean Conservancy shows that nearly 80 percent of plastic waste in the ocean begins as litter on land, the vast majority of which travels to the sea by rivers.