By 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Yet the problems start long before plastic reaches our oceans. Millions of dollars are being invested in cleaning up plastics from our oceans, rivers and streets. But all this work will be for nothing if ever more plastic continues to be landfilled, burned, or flow into the environment.
In October 2018 the Ellen MacArthur Foundationin collaboration with UN Environment Programme launched the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, to align businesses and governments behind a clear vision for a circular economy for plastic. On November 5, the Foundation will publish its second annual progress report, which includes unprecedented data on how more than 100 businesses have progressed towards their 2025 targets for a circular economy for plastic.
In this timely session, we will explore what is being done to meet its ambitions to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic items; innovate to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulate all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment – and what more needs to happen to stop plastic pollution at its source.
Consumer Industries Correspondent
Lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Senior VP, Chief Cycles and Procurement
Head, Consumption and Production Unit, Economy Division
UN Environment Programme
Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer
Lead Engager, SDG Engagement High Yield Credit
KEY TALKING POINTS
What early insight are we seeing from the 2020 Global Commitment progress report on elimination, reuse, and recycling of plastic packaging? And how significant are variations across the 200+ individual business signatories? Why is this data relevant for and in high demand by investors?
Is the group of signatories on track towards achieving 2025 targets levels of post-consumer recycled content? Has virgin plastic use peaked?
Do we see businesses accelerate innovation in their product delivery models and scaling of reuse efforts?
What bold decisions are needed on certain packaging types to achieve recyclability targets? What is needed to structurally fix recycling economics and scale recycling globally?
Would the journey started by the Global Commitment be significantly accelerated by a Global Treaty on plastic pollution?
Which businesses and governments have shown sustained or even increased commitment to building a circular economy for plastic during the pandemic?