Dow to spend $2.8 million to address plastic packaging waste

Two-year commitment focuses on recycle, reuse and resource recovery initiatives

The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, MI) has committed to spend $2.8 million over the next two years to find solutions that address global marine debris and litter. The company made the announcement on Friday, September 16th at the inaugural Our Ocean Conference in Washington, DC, hosted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Image courtesy @MarineDebris.

Dow recognizes marine debris and litter as a critical issue and is dedicated to collaborating with the global plastics industry and key association partners to address this global challenge with effective science-based solutions.

“Dow is committed to finding viable science-based solutions to keep our oceans clean,” said Jim Fitterling, Dow’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “These efforts are aligned to our 2025 Sustainability Goals and our efforts to advance a circular economy by delivering solutions to close resource loops and increase the rate of recycling and reuse of plastics.”

The $2.8 million support will be focused on two areas. Approximately half of the support will go toward sponsorship of collaborative projects such as the Ocean Conservancy’s research and waste management pilot programs and to support educational programs to promote recycling and prevent littering.

The other half of Dow’s spend will support ongoing research such as that being done by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation involving the development of new technologies to create a more circular economy while advancing opportunities to turn waste into a valuable end-state. This consists of work to increase the recyclability of flexible packaging and driving the development of chemical recycling technologies to convert non-recycled plastics into feedstocks that can be used to make new materials.

“Plastics offer many advancements that improve our everyday life—from packaging that helps reduce global food waste to life-saving innovations in the medical field,” said Diego Donoso, Business President of Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics. “Yet, not all plastics waste ends up where it should and that is why we are working with the private sector, industry trade associations, academia and NGO’s to develop targeted global actions that will mitigate or even stop the amount of marine debris polluting our ocean.”

Dow is already a member of a global coalition led by the Ocean Conservancy that includes industry leaders, ocean advocates, analytical advisors, donors and government agencies committed to identifying the causes and developing solutions to prevent waste from entering the seas.

Dow also particpates in coastal clean-up initiatives through employee engagement, financial support, and donations such as the International Coastal Clean Up sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy. The Company also supports The Declaration of the Global Plastics Association for Solutions on Marine Debris which has signatures from over 60 associations spanning 34 countries.

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