SUEZ founding member of new Alliance to End Plastic Waste in the environment with 25 other companies
Companies from across the plastics value chain1 have launched on January 16, 2019 in London a new global Alliance to End Plastic Waste in the environment, especially in the ocean. The Alliance has committed over $1.0 billion USD to this mission.
Nearly 30 global companies from across the “plastics value chain1” - companies that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics - have come together with a clear mission: to help end plastic waste in the environment. They have launched an Alliance that will develop and bring to scale solutions to minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions including reusing, recovering, and recycling.
The Alliance to End Plastic Waste has committed over $1.0 billion USD with the goal of investing $1.5 billion USD over the next five years. The Alliance announced an initial set of projects and collaborations that reflects a range of solutions to help end plastic waste, such as partnering with cities to design integrated waste management systems in large urban areas where infrastructure is lacking or supporting Renew Oceans, a program designed to capture plastic waste before it reaches the ocean from the ten major rivers shown to carry the vast majority of land-based waste to the ocean. The initial work will support the Renew Ganja project.
Ocean plastics comes mainly from unmanaged municipal solid waste on land
Used plastics have become an environmental challenge in parts of the world because it is not managed properly. Recent research from Ocean Conservancy identified the most significant sources of unmanaged plastic waste and helped identify key aspects of the solution including:
- Major investment in waste management systems in underserved parts of the world, with an initial focus on rapidly developing economies in Southeast Asia. It is estimated that up to 80% of ocean plastics comes from unmanaged municipal solid waste on land, with over half of that coming from a relatively small number of developing countries where there is not adequate waste management and recycling. Studies also show that rivers are the primary pathway by which waste reaches the ocean, with recent studies concluding that 90 percent or more of river-born waste comes from just ten rivers. Enabling progress in cities where the challenge of unmanaged plastic waste is greatest, especially those along major rivers, has the potential to significantly reduce the flow of plastic waste into the environment;
- Improved types of packaging that minimize waste and that are designed for reuse and recycling, as well as new technologies and systems that improve recyclability of all types of plastics; and,
- Attracting greater investment in collection, reuse, and repurposing of plastic materials.
A global vision to address this global environmental challenge
Building on these findings and many other learnings, the Alliance has developed a global vision and a comprehensive, integrated strategy comprised of four key areas:
- Infrastructure development to collect and manage waste and increase recycling, especially in developing countries;
- Innovation to advance and scale new technologies that minimize waste, make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from all post-use plastics;
- Education and engagement of governments at all levels, businesses, and communities to mobilize action; and,
- Clean-up of concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment, particularly major rivers that carry vast amounts of land-based plastic waste to the ocean.
“We are only at the beginning. We welcome all companies, big or small, from all regions and sectors to support this effort. By bringing together the entire plastics value chain, the Alliance will apply the technical and engineering expertise of each sector, the collective resources and reach of companies from around the world, and insights from those that operate in the regions where the challenge is greatest. One of SUEZ’s role will be, together with industrials, to promote eco-design. It’s crucial to use plastics that we know we can treat, thereby ensuring their recyclability,” said Jean-Marc Boursier , Group Senior Executive VP - Finance and R&R in Northern Europe of SUEZ Group.
The Alliance’s founding members
The Alliance membership represents global companies and located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
The following companies are the founding members of the Alliance: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total and Veolia.
1 The plastics value chain includes chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters and waste management companies.