Global Commitment Aims To Eliminate Plastic Pollution At Source

A global commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at the source has been signed by 290+ organisations, representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation says.

The Commitment was officially unveiled by Ellen MacArthur at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali yesterday (29 Oct).

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment, and is signed by many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs.

Dame Ellen MacArthur – “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.”

Signatories include: well-known consumer businesses such as Danone, H&M Group, L’Oreal, Mars, Incorporated, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, and Unilever; major packing producers such as Amcor; plastics producers including Novamont; and resource management specialist Veolia.

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 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.”

The Global Commitment and its vision for a circular economy for plastic are supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and have been endorsed by the World Economic Forum, The Consumer Goods Forum (a CEO-led organisation representing some 400 retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries), and 40 universities, institutions and academics.

More than fifteen financial institutions with in excess of $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.

Click here for the full list of signatories


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  1. Good PR and some progress made, but what about the 2 billion of the world’s population who don’t have access to an organised waste collection and disposal service? Why is that never mentioned?

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