A global alliance of nearly 30 companies joined forces to advance solutions that reduce and eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has committed over $1.0 billion with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. New solutions will be developed and brought to scale that will minimize and manage plastic waste. This also includes the promotion of solutions for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy.
“We strongly support the aim to reduce plastic waste in the environment,” said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer of BASF, who supported setting up the Alliance from the beginning. “Plastics are efficient materials that can save resources and enable health, safety as well as convenience benefits for society. These benefits could be contradicted, if plastics and their waste are neither used nor disposed nor recycled in a responsible manner.”
Understanding where the plastic waste originates from is key. Research by the Ocean Conservancy shows that plastics in the ocean predominantly originate from litter on land. Most of the plastic waste is spread through rivers and can be traced back to ten major rivers around the world. 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. The AEPW will initiate actions where they are most needed including infrastructure development, innovations that make recycling and recovering plastics easier, education and engagement of governments, businesses, and communities.
“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. This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort to date to end plastic waste in the environment,” said David Taylor, CEO of Procter & Gamble, and chairman of the AEPW.
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.