November 6, 2018

Over 290 Companies Sign Global Commitment on New Plastics Economy

News Source: SDG Knowledge Hub

Author(s): Catherine Benson Wahlén

30 October 2018: The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) announced a global commitment to eliminate plastic waste at the fifth edition of the Our Ocean Conference. More than 290 of the world’s leading packaging brands have committed to ensure that 100 percent of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled or composted by 2025.

The ‘New Plastics Economy Global Commitment’ focuses on three actions to achieve a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste. First, the Commitment signatories will aim to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models. Additional targets include to: innovate to ensure 100 percent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled or composed by 2025; and circulate the plastic produced by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products. The targets will be reviewed every 18 months, with the goal of making them increasingly ambitious in future years.

Businesses, governments and others around the world unite behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic.

Signatories to the Global Commitment represent 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally. Danone, H&M Group, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever and Mars, Incorporated are among the consumer businesses that have made commitments alongside packing producers such as Amcor and plastics producers, including Novamont. Businesses that sign the commitment will publish annual data on their progress to ensure transparency and drive momentum.

Ellen MacArthur announced the initiative at the Our Ocean Conference, underscoring the importance of stopping plastic from entering the oceans. She said that the “New Plastics Economy Global Commitments 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.” UNEP Executive Director, Erik Solheim, described the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment as the “most ambitious set of targets we have seen yet in the fight to beat plastics pollution.”

The Global Commitment is in line with SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production) targets on sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (target 12.2) and reduction of waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse (target 12.5). These actions also contribute to SDG 14 (life below water), including target 14.1 on preventing and reducing marine pollution of all kinds.

The Our Ocean Conferences have resulted in over 1,200 concrete, measurable and tracked commitments in support of sustainable management of the world’s oceans. The 2018 Our Ocean Conference took place in Bali, Indonesia, from 29-30 October.