17. Jan 2019
An alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain today launched a new organization to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.
The cross-value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, has committed over $1.0 billion with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. 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. The Alliance membership represents global companies and located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
"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," said David Taylor, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble, and chairman of the AEPW. "I urge all companies, big and small and from all regions and sectors, to join us," he added.
"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 of 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 Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that includes companies that make, use, sell, process, collect, and recycle plastics. This includes chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies, also known as the plastics value chain. The Alliance has been working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as a founding strategic partner. The Alliance today also announced an initial set of projects and collaborations that reflect a range of solutions to help end plastic waste:
In the months ahead, the Alliance will make additional investments and drive progress in four key areas:
"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. In fact, one study estimates that over 90 percent of river-borne plastic in the ocean comes from 10 major rivers around the world – eight in Asia, and two in Africa. Sixty percent of plastic waste in the ocean can be traced to five countries in Southeast Asia.
"While our effort will be global, the Alliance can have the greatest impact on the problem by focusing on the parts of the world where the challenge is greatest; and by sharing solutions and best practices so that these efforts can be amplified and scaled-up around the world," said Peter Bakker, President and CEO of World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The following companies are the founding members of the Alliance: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).