A Global Commitment to eradicate plastic waste and pollution at the source has been signed by 250 organisations including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), in collaboration with UN Environment, and was officially unveiled at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali today (Monday, Oct 29).

The over 250 signatories include companies representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally. They include over 70 well-known consumer businesses such as DanoneH&M Group; HenkelL’OréalMars, IncorporatedPepsiCoStanley Black and Decker and Unilever; major packaging producers such as ALPLA, plastics producers including Novamont, and resource management specialist Rubicon Global. See the complete list of signatories here.

The Global Commitment and its vision for a circular economy for plastic are supported by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), and have been endorsed by the World Economic Forum and the Consumer Goods Forum, along with 40 universities, institutions and academics. More than 15 financial institutions with more than $2.5 trillion in assets under management have also endorsed the Global Commitment and over $200 million has been pledged by five venture capital funds to create a circular economy for plastic.

The Global Commitment aims to create ‘a new normal’ for plastic packaging. Targets will be reviewed every 18 months, and become increasingly ambitious over the coming years. Businesses that sign the commitment will publish annual data on their progress to help drive momentum and ensure transparency.

Targets include:

Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move
from single-use to reuse packaging models
Innovate to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be easily and
safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025
Circulate the plastic produced, by significantly increasing the
amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new
packaging or products

Eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastics is an essential part of
the Global Commitment vision, and will make it easier to keep remaining
plastics in the economy and out of the environment.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said:
“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. 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, said:
“The plastics crisis can only be solved with the combined efforts of all key players
in the system. The World Wide Fund for Nature (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 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.”

UN Environment, which leads the Global Partnership on Marine Litter and its
Clean Seas Campaign, last month also launched the Global Plastics Platform
to support international efforts to tackle plastic pollution. It said it would use
its convening power to drive engagement with the Global Commitment from
governments and other key players.

Governments that sign, pledge to put in place policies and enabling conditions
to support the Global Commitment’s targets and vision. Executive Director Erik
Solheim said: “Ocean plastic is one of the most visible and disturbing examples
of a plastic pollution crisis. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is
the most ambitious set of targets we have seen yet in the fight to beat plastics
pollution. 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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