Davos: Over 40 industry leaders, including some from India, today rallied here in support of a new plan to recycle plastic waste, fearing that oceans may have more plastic than fish by 2050 if no urgent steps are taken.
The plan aims to increase total recycling from 14 per cent currently to 70 per cent of total plastic packaging.
The plan, presented here in a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, observed that there could be “more plastics than fish (by weight) in the ocean by 2050 if no action is taken immediately”.
The report said that 20 per cent of plastic packaging could be profitably reused, for example by replacing single-use plastic bags with re-usable alternatives or designing innovative packaging models based on product refill.
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A further 50 per cent of plastic packaging could be profitably recycled if improvements are made to packaging design and after-use management systems.
This could bring in an additional USD 90 to USD 140 per tonne of mixed plastics.
Without fundamental redesign and innovation, the remaining 30 per cent of plastic packaging (by weight) will never be recycled and the equivalent of 10 billion garbage bags per year will be destined to landfill or incineration.
“The New Plastics Economy initiative has attracted wide-spread support, and across the industry we are seeing strong initial momentum and alignment on the direction to take. The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action provides a clear plan for redesigning the global plastics system, paving the way for concerted action,” said Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
“This could drive systemic change,” said DominicWaughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.
One of the signatories to the plan, Malati Gadgil, Treasurer of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), said, “Through first-hand experience, KKPKP knows how recyclable plastics create income for waste pickers in India.
“The New Plastics Economy initiative attempts to ambitiously take a detailed and long-term view on the trade with a multi-pronged approach of value enhancement – critical for informal recyclers – and format and delivery model redesign for plastics packaging.”
“This new report has tremendous potential to influence policy at the global and local levels and we look forward to how it will impact the recycling economy,” Mr. Gadgil said.
Others to have endorsed the plan include CEOs of Unilever, Danone, Veolia, Dow Chemicals, Suez and Carrefour as also top executives of giants like Coca Cola and PepsiCo.
March 19, 2017 at 4:43 am
I am trying to do something to help with the horrendous problem of plastic in our oceans by creating a book for young children that could have multi-generational effects. By communicated this huge environmental problem to young children, I believe that they will be empowered to take action and to also influence their parents and other adults.
The book is titled ‘Ocean Champions – A Journey into Seas of Plastic’. In the story Kai, Morgan, and their new friend, Botley, a plastic bottle who is afraid of being washed into the ocean, are invited aboard the super submersible Spirit for an ocean adventure. They travel to many places and witness firsthand the harmful impacts plastic is having on ocean animals and also learn about many of the ways they and others can help. When the children return home they take many actions to reduce the amount of plastic that is entering our oceans and become true Ocean Champions.
In large part because of the cost of the illustrations, production costs for the book are fairly substantial and since sales of the book will only cover about 20% of these costs, I have set up a campaign on the crowd funding site, Kickstarter, to try to obtain funding assistance. I have donated thousands of hours of my own time to the book and the substantial amount of other marine education material I have created. So I really hope that people see fit to support production of this book.
My Kickstarter campaign contains much more information, including a history of the project, a synopsis of the story, the process, and more. It can be accessed at: goo.gl/Jty3hs The campaign closes on April 1, 2017