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The Alliance will further invest to clean up of areas where plastic waste concentrates, such as in rivers.
The Alliance will further invest to clean up of areas where plastic waste concentrates, such as in rivers.

An alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain just launched a new organization to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), currently made up of nearly 30 member companies, has committed over US$1.0 billion with the goal of investing US$1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.

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).

A cross value chain cooperation for circular economy

AEPW is a not-for-profit organization that includes chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies, also known as the plastics value chain.

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 has also been working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as a founding strategic partner.

“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,” said David Taylor, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble, and chairman of the AEPW.

“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,” he added.

In the months ahead, the Alliance 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 that make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from all post-use plastics;
  • Education and engagement of governments, businesses, and communities to mobilize action; and,
  • Clean up of concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste, like rivers, that carry land-based plastic waste to the sea.

“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,” commented Veolia CEO Antoine Frérot, a vice chairman of the AEPW.

80% of ocean plastic waste comes from rivers

According to the research from the Ocean Conservancy, nearly 80% of plastic waste in the ocean begins as litter on land, the vast majority of which travels to the sea by rivers.

Meanwhile, one study estimates that over 90% of river borne plastic in the ocean comes from 10 major rivers around the world – eight in Asia, and two in Africa. And 60% of plastic waste in the ocean can be sourced to five countries in Southeast Asia.

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