Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), in collaboration with UN Environment, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment was launched Our Ocean Conference in Bali on October 29th. The Commitment is signed by over 250 companies with the mission to eradicate plastic waste and pollution at the source.

The Commitment is defined by six key points:

  • Elimination of problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation, and new delivery models is a priority
  • Reuse models are applied where relevant, reducing the need for single-use packaging
  • All plastic packaging is 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable
  • All plastic packaging is reused, recycled, or composted in practice
  • The use of plastic is fully decoupled from the consumption of finite resources
  • All plastic packaging is free of hazardous chemicals; and the health, safety, and rights of all people involved are respected.

Governments that sign the pledge need to put in place policies and enable conditions to support the Global Commitment’s targets and vision.

Signatories include major companies such as Danone; H&M Group; Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc (J&J); L’Oréal; Mars, Incorporated; PepsiCo; Stanley Black and Decker and Unilever; major packaging producers such as Amcor, plastics producers including Novamont, and resource management specialists Rubicon Global and Veolia.

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“We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year. We need   to move upstream to the source of the flow,” said Dame Ellen MacArthur. “The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic. This is just one step on what will be a challenging journey, but one which can lead to huge benefits for society, the economy and the environment. I encourage all businesses and governments to go further and embark on a race to the top in the creation of a circular economy for plastic — one in which this material never becomes waste or pollution.

Pavan Sukhdev, President of WWF International which is heavily backing the initiative, said: “The plastics crisis can only be solved with the combined efforts of all key players in the system. WWF’s strategy in plastics is to advocate, amplify and accelerate a connected suite of initiatives for change; therefore, we are working closely with other key organizations, such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to convey a joint message on our ambitious joint commitments, and to develop the tools needed to achieve these in partnership with companies, civil society, governments and citizens. WWF therefore endorses the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment as we consider it an important step forward to join the efforts of businesses and governments around the world towards system-wide solutions.

“The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is the most ambitious set of targets we have seen yet in the fight to beat plastics pollution,” said UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim. “It sets out the steps businesses and governments must take if we are to find a solution to the root causes of plastic pollution and we urge all those working towards dealing with this global issue to sign it.”

 

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