The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
Following the October 2018 European Parliament vote for a ban on single-use plastic items by 2021,
Major brands have now signed up to a new plastics ecomony global commitment and are pledging to cut all plastic waste from operations and to eliminate all single-use plastics, investing in new packaging technology by 2025, to ensure it can all be recycled.
Around 300 organisations signed “The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment“, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to improve packaging and production methods and other initiatives to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at source.
These organisations include some of the most well-known household brands, retailers and packaging production companies; Danone, Nestlé, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars, Coca-Cola, Gov.UK, Philips, Colgate, Walmart, Burberry, H&M, HP, Target, M&S and many more!
Many of the signatories have been named among the world’s worst polluters, by the break free from plastic movement and is seen as a step in the right direction
What is the global commitment?
The global commitment initiative has followed on from increasing public pressure on retailers and manufacturers to reduce plastic packaging.
Many anti-pollution efforts we see in today’s news focuses on cleaning up the after-effects of plastic waste, clearing beaches and removing ocean waste; all of which is amazing. This commitment aims to go a step further and curb the production of single-use plastics at the source.
This challenge will see those signing up reach targets, which will be reviewed every 18 months, to attain a new normal for plastic packaging. The ambitious 2025 targets supported by this vision can be placed into three board-ranging categories: –
- Eliminate – Remove unneeded plastic packaging that is problematic to recycle or dispose of in an environmentally friendly way, focus instead on reusable packaging
- Innovate – Invest in packaging technology to ensure 100% can be safely recycled, composted or reused by 2025.
- Circulate – Keep everything we use within the economy and away from our oceans, landfill and our environment. Increase the plastics reused as new packaging or products.
The initiative is the result of a partnership between The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and endorsed by “The consumer goods forum”
What does actually mean and how will those signing up be held to account?
The businesses and governments that have committed to these 2025 targets, to ‘Eliminate, Innovate and Circulate’ and tackle plastic waste and pollutions at the root cause, They have been set a clear minimum level of ambition for all signatories, common definitions underpinning all commitments and annual reporting on progress.
The global commitment sets out to build on and reinforce:-
- The G7 Plastics Charter
- The EU strategy for plastics in a circular economy
- The Commonwealth Blue Charter
- The Community of Ocean action established by the UN.
- Contributions to the implementation of the UN Environment Assembly resolutions to Marine litter and Microplastics
- Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 12 and SDG14.
What do each business signatories commit to? : –
- Endorse the global commitments common vision
- Make individual commitments including – (Source and more detail: – New Plastics Economy)
- Take action to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging by 2025
- Take action to move from single-use to reuse models where relevant by 2025
- 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025
- Set an ambitious 2025 recycled content target across all plastic packaging used
- Invest a meaningful amount by 2025 in businesses, technologies, or other assets that work to realise the vision of a circular economy for plastic
- Commit to collaborate towards increasing reuse/recycling/composting rates for plastic
- Report annually and publicly on progress towards meeting these commitments
What do government signatories commit to? : –
- Endorse the Global Commitment’s common vision
- Commit to having ambitious policies and measurable targets in place well ahead of
2025 in order to realise and report tangible progress by 2025, in each of the following five areas:-
- Stimulating the elimination of problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and/or products
- Encouraging reuse models where relevant, to reduce the need for single-use plastic
packaging and/or products
- Incentivising the use of reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging
- Increasing collection, sorting, reuse, and recycling rates, and facilitating the establishment of
the necessary infrastructure and related funding mechanisms
- Stimulating the demand for recycled plastic
- Commit to collaborate towards achieving the Global Commitment’s common vision, with the private sector and NGOs (e.g. through Plastics Pacts) (e.g. through Plastics Pacts)
- Report annually and publicly on the implementation of these commitments and progress made
What can I do to help?
Even as companies begin to cut plastic waste from their operations, we still need to be aware that plastic that is already recyclable still ends up in our oceans, contributing to landfill and other forms of polluting the planet.
There are many ways you can help, including: –
- Support the new plastics economy global commitment you can see who is involved and how to become involved at the home of the Global Commitment.
- Purchase plastic-free alternatives for commonly used plastic items
- Support initiatives to keep plastics from exiting our economy into waste. The vision of a circular economy for plastic by New Plastics Economy is a culture supporting reuse, repair, remake, redesign, reconditioning and refurbishment