News

Industry group commits $1 billion to end plastic waste

Composed of more than two dozen companies – including some of the world's largest chemical suppliers – the new Alliance to End Plastic Waste wants to increase its total to $1.5 billion to work on the problem during the next five years.


Print this page

January 16, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

Some of the biggest names in the chemical and plastics industries are part of a major new initiative to end plastic waste.

Composed of more than two dozen companies, the new Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) already has a $1 billion commitment from alliance members and wants to increase that amount to $1.5 billion to work on the problem during the next five years.

The alliance is a not-for-profit organization that includes companies from across the global plastics and consumer goods value chain: chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies. The alliance will work with governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, non-government organizations and civil society to invest in joint projects to eliminate plastic waste from the environment.

Founding members of the alliance include chemical makers BASF, Braskem, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, Formosa Plastics Corp. USA, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, Nova Chemicals Corp., Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC), SCG Chemicals, and Sumitomo Chemical.

“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, in a statement. “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.”

Most of the plastic waste is spread through rivers and can be traced back to ten major rivers around the world, mainly in Asia and Africa. Many of these rivers flow through densely populated areas which have a lack of adequate waste collection and recycling infrastructure, leading to significant waste leakage. Some of the activities the AEPW plans to be involved in in these regions include infrastructure development to collect and manage waste and increase recycling; innovation to advance and scale up new technologies that make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from post-use plastics; education and engagement of governments, businesses, and communities to mobilize action; and the clean-up of concentrated areas of plastic waste in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste, such as rivers, that carry land-based waste to the ocean.

The alliance also wants to create what it calls an “open source, science-based global information” system to support plastic waste management.

The AEPW will be launched globally on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CET) at this link.