A world-renowned marine litter expert from the University of Plymouth has lent his support to a global initiative aimed at eradicating plastics waste and pollution at source.
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with UN Environment, and was officially unveiled at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali.
More than 250 organisations have already signed up, including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs.
The scheme has also been backed by Professor Richard Thompson, Head of the University’s International Marine Litter Research Unit and Director of the Marine Institute. He said:
“Plastics undoubtedly have their uses, but we have developed a throwaway culture where single use items have become part of our way of life. The transition to more circular use of plastics is essential to help reduce the accumulation of end of life plastic as waste and litter. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment represents a major step forward in this journey and I am pleased to endorse it.”
The Global Commitment aims to create ‘a new normal’ for plastic packaging. Targets will be reviewed every 18 months, and become increasingly ambitious over the coming years. Businesses that sign the commitment will publish annual data on their progress to help drive momentum and ensure transparency. Its initial targets include:
- eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models
- innovating to ensure 100 per cent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025
- circulating the plastic produced, by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused, recycled and made into new packaging or products.