We’re excited to introduce a new partnership designed to help tackle ocean plastic. This week at the Our Ocean 2017 Conference, Ocean Conservancy, the Trash Free Seas Alliance, and Closed Loop Partners – alongside the American Chemistry Council, World Plastics Council, Procter & Gamble, 3M, and PepsiCo, announced $150 million+ toward new funding mechanisms to prevent plastic waste from entering the ocean.
What’s most promising about this initiative is that it will follow the successful model Closed Loop Partners is executing in North America where brand owners, retailers and others in the packaging value chain supported an effort to increase recycling rates.
Why Focus on Ocean Plastic in Southeast Asia?
Scientific and political leaders identified the need to improve land-based waste management in rapidly industrializing economies, where populations have access to consumer goods and little access to well-developed waste management systems. The recent Ocean Conservancy study, “Stemming the Tide: Land-based Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean,” identified improving waste management as the single most important step we can take to reduce the flow of waste into the ocean. The study found five countries with rapidly developing economies to be leaking over half of the plastics into the ocean. The report went on to identify various strategies that could be implemented to reduce the flow of packaging and other litter into our oceans.
Building strong partnerships to reduce marine litter
Our team here at ACC is engaged with the Trash Free Seas Alliance to develop and deploy marine litter solutions in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of our Global Plastics Alliance we continue to work with leaders from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum on improved waste management, and we’re partnering with other stakeholders to improve collection, containment, recycling and energy recovery in the region. We couldn’t be more pleased to see this partnership launch. Our Steve Russell spoke with Plastics News Steve Toloken recently and said something I want to leave you with, “One key point is that while marine debris is a real problem, it’s a problem we can do something about, starting with better waste management on land. We know how to do that, so it’s a matter of making it a priority.”
This encouraging new public-private partnership is a great example of our commitment to the critical priority of helping solve the global challenge of marine litter.
Links to the press release and some of the media coverage are below.
• New Initiative Launches at Our Ocean to Finance Solutions to Ocean Plastic (issued by Ocean Conservancy)
• Groups unveil $150 million investment fund to fight plastic ocean pollution (Plastics News, Oct 4)
• $150M pledged to fight SE Asia ocean plastics problem (Resource Recycling, Oct 4)