A new alliance has been formed, comprising plastics and consumer goods companies from around the world. The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has almost 30 members and its aim is to establish new solutions that will eradicate plastic waste from the environment and ocean.
The AEPW has invested $1-billion (~R14-billion) that will be used over the next five years to tackle plastic waste and clean pollution hotspots. The money will also be used to develop modern solutions that will aid the management of discarded plastics and establish circular economies where possible.
The alliance has proposed solutions
The AEPW is a not-for-profit organisation (NPO) that includes companies from all sectors of the plastics value chain – businesses that make plastic products, use plastic packaging, sell the goods, collect the discarded items and recycle the plastic waste.
The alliance is also a founding partner of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Members of the AEPW operate in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, as well as North and South America.
Some of the AEPW-proposed solutions to minimise and eradicate plastic waste include:
- Teaming up with cities around the world to design and implement integrated waste management systems in urban areas. Most importantly, cities that are founded at the ocean or along rivers need to have adequate waste management facilities to prevent plastics from being swept into the ocean via the river systems.
- Engaging local governments and stakeholders to create economically-sustainable models of waste management that can be replicated countrywide. The AEPW will also encourage local partnerships between existing programmes and municipalities to collaborate with one another more closely.
- Develop and promote new business models, technologies and entrepreneurship in the waste management sector, through incubators and funding partnerships.
- Establish an open source, science-based global information project that gives stakeholders access to up-to-date data, standards and methodologies. This will help governments, companies and programmes to accelerate change and minimise plastic waste.
- Set up collaboration partnerships between the United Nations and local governments to conduct training workshops. This will also help municipalities to find effective and locally-relevant solutions to plastic waste management.
- Support programmes and organisations that are invested in cleaning the environment.
Plastic waste is a global issue
“Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment,” says AEPW chairperson and CEO of Procter & Gamble (P&G), David Taylor. “This is a complex and serious global challenge that calls for swift action and strong leadership,” he says.
“This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort to date to end plastic waste in the environment. I urge all companies, big and small and from all regions and sectors, to join us,” states Taylor.
“History has shown us that collective action and partnerships between industry, governments and NGOs can deliver innovative solutions to a global challenge like this,” says AEPW vice chairperson and CEO of LyondellBasell, Bob Patel. “The issue of plastic waste is seen and felt all over the world. It must be addressed, and we believe the time for action is now,” he adds.
“Addressing plastic waste in the environment and developing a circular economy of plastics requires the participation of everyone across the entire value chain and the long-term commitment of businesses, governments, and communities,” affirms AEPW vice chairperson and CEO of Veolia, Antoine Frérot. “No one country, company or community can solve this on their own,” he adds.
Some of the founding member companies of the AEPW include ExxonMobil, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Procter & Gamble, Sasol, Shell and Total. The work of the alliance will establish a cleaner ocean and land environment in communities across the globe.
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