Global companies form alliance, pledge more than $1 billion to eradicate plastic waste

People in gearsLyondellBasell, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., ExxonMobil, BASF, Shell Chemical and Procter and Gamble are just a few of the nearly 30 global companies that have formed a nonprofit called Alliance to End Plastic Waste. The goal is to commit $1.5 billion over the next five years to fighting plastic waste, according to a joint announcement from the companies.

The nonprofit’s initial set of investments and projects include:

  • Setting up an incubator network with Circulate Capital, an investment management firm, and SecondMuse, a New York consultancy, to develop and promote plastic recycling technologies, particularly in Southeast Asia.
  • Collaborating with the United Nations Environment agency to train government officials and community leaders to identify and pursue localized waste prevention.
  • Supporting the Renew Oceans program, run by the Salt Lake City recycling company Renewology, to capture plastics entering the oceans from 10 major rivers shown to carry the vast majority of land-based waste to the ocean. The funding will also support an initiative fighting plastic pollution around the Ganges in India.
  • Establishing a city partnership program to design integrated waste management systems in large urban areas where infrastructure is lacking, particularly in developing nations.
  • Creating an information hub to support waste management projects globally with reliable data collection, metrics, standards and methodologies.

“Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment,” said David Taylor, CEO of Procter & Gamble and Chairman of the alliance, in a statement. “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.”

The nonprofit will focus much of its efforts in Southeast Asia, where plastic pollution is the worst. About 55% to 60% of the world’s plastic pollution originates in five emerging markets: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, according to research from the Washington D.C.–based nonprofit, Ocean Conservancy.

A news report from March 2017 said that Indonesia had pledged $1 billion annually to reduce plastic waste by 70% in 2025, noting that only China dumps more plastic into the ocean than Indonesia. 

The alliance, which is unique in that it includes companies across the plastics value chain, also includes Berry Global, Braskem, Clariant, Covestro, Versalis, Eni’s chemical company, DSM, Formosa Plastics, Henkel, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, Nova Chemicals, OxyChem, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, Suez, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total and Veolia.

Image courtesy Emerge/Adobe Stock.

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