Tuesday, 13 November, 2018

New Zealand Signs Global Declaration Taking on Plastic Waste

The initiative comes as public pressure mounts on manufacturers and retailers to pare down the deluge of plastic packaging that is clogging landfills and choking the seas Major companies responsible for a FIFTH of the world's plastic packaging pledge to end waste
Cary Marshall | 01 November, 2018, 13:25

"This unbalanced vision leaves no room for the "goodness" of plastic packaging, and yet if we are to be successful in our efforts to reduce plastic pollution we must be vigilant to opportunities to optimise the good and eliminate the bad".

"There is tremendous potential for innovation in the transition to more recyclable and reusable plastics", noted Megan Hellstedt, VP of sustainable retailing for Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize.

"What began as a result of the Industrial Revolution is now seriously out of control, and we need to reset the parameters and work out what success looks like for that industry", says, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ellen MacArthur.

Organizers said they hope to show that private capital can help to kickstart investment in plastic waste management in Asian countries that generate significant amount of marine pollution, but often lack resources to better manage the packaging waste from their growing consumer societies.

Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, the Global Commitment brings together governments, businesses and NGOs around the world to address the root causes of plastic waste and pollution, by looking at the whole system of how plastic is imported, produced and used.

L'Oréal, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever are three of the beauty giants to have signed the commitment, while big-name signatories from the fashion world include H&M, Burberry and Stella McCartney. Currently, 90 percent of SC Johnson's plastic packaging is created to be recyclable, reusable or compostable.

The problem starts long before plastic reaches our oceans, rivers and beaches, and so must the solutions.

Targets will be reviewed every 18 months and businesses will publish annual data on their progress to ensure transparency and momentum, organisers said.

Without action to curb plastic pollution in the oceans, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a report upon its launch, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics, that outlined its approach.

More news: Zarif acknowledges impact of USA sanctions on Iran's economy

Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, yet more than 60% of that amount has ended up landfill, oceans and the natural environment.

Does it go far enough?

The move was welcomed by environmental campaigners, Friends of the Earth.

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

The global commitment and its vision for a circular economy for plastic are supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and have been endorsed by the World Economic Forum, The Consumer Goods Forum (a CEO-led organization representing some 400 retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries), and 40 universities, institutions, and academics.

Nevertheless, some are concerned that the pledge is not ambitious enough.

Greenpeace UK senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge welcomed the positive news that consumer brands are taking note of the groundswell of public pressure for action on plastics. It estimated the figures for how much plastic is collected for recycling worldwide.

Work with industry and other organizations to support circular plastic economy models. Just because something is recyclable, it doesn't mean it will actually be recycled.

"Eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic is key, whilst making sure that the plastic we do use, can be safely reused, recycled or composted".

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