Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

250 organisations join forces to tackle plastic waste levels

250 organisations join forces to tackle plastic waste levels

By becoming a s signatory, UPM Raflatac joins around 250 other organizations, including numerous world's largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs, in working towards a circular economy for plastics. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, signed by packaging manufacturers, retailers and recyclers representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced worldwide, officially kicked off October 29 at a conference in Bali.

Over 250 organisations including numerous world's largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments have signed and Bangor University is one of 40 global universities to have made this commitment. "With our recycling sector creaking at the seams and global plastic production set to quadruple by 2050, we need leading consumer brands to bring in ambitious targets to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they put in circulation".

"One in which this material never becomes waste or pollution", said Ellen MacArthur, founder of the foundation named after her.

The Global Commitment aims to create "a new normal" for plastic packaging by fundamentally rethinking the way we make, use and reuse plastic materials. By developing sustainable labeling solutions and partnerships UPM Raflatac supports brand owners in eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging and achieving their target of 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Brand signatories include well-known businesses such as Danone, H&M group, L'Oréal, Mars Inc., PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, and Unilever.

Businesses will publish annual data on their progress. More than $200m has been pledged by five venture capital funds to create a circular economy for plastic. "We're committed to doing our part to ensure the plastic we need is safely and economically, reused, recycled or composted". We want to act and lead by example.

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Hundreds of big brands have said they will work to get rid of single-use plastic and other unnecessary plastic waste from their operations.

The campaign is led by Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity launched by the yachts woman and the United Nations.

Apart from manufacturers the list of signatories includes NGOs, financial institutions, and universities.

"Most efforts 'til now have been focused on cleaning up plastic pollution".

The company is also stimulating demand for collecting and recycling, contributing towards its toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes being collected, and reusing the plastic to create spanners to open bulk containers, reducing the use of virgin plastics. "It is inspiring to be part of this transition to a circular plastic economy".

Alexandre Ricard, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard added that "for us, the problem surrounding plastics isn't a new one but it feels that we have now reached a tipping point".

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