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250 organisations including major food and beverage companies, governments and packaging manufacturers have signed The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the UN and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which aims to tackle rising plastic waste levels.
The commitment was made at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia, and participating organisations will aim to create ‘a new normal’ for plastic packaging, creating a circular economy which will keep existing plastics in the economy so that they never become waste, while aiming to eliminate the future use of problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation, and the introduction of new delivery models.
Organisations including Nestle; The Coca-Cola Company; PepsiCo; Pernod Ricard; Unilever; Danone and Mars, Incorporated, have signed the pledge, and the commitment has also been endorsed by the World Economic Forum, The Consumer Goods Forum and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Targets made by The Global Commitment will be reviewed every 18 months, and participating organisations will publish annual data on their progress to help drive momentum and ensure transparency.
The Global Commitment has established three initial targets to help pave the way for a global circular economy:
Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment said: “Ocean plastic is one of the most visible and disturbing examples of a plastic pollution crisis.
“The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is the most ambitious set of targets we have seen yet in the fight to beat plastics pollution.
“It sets out the steps businesses and governments must take if we are to find a solution to the root causes of plastic pollution and we urge all those working towards dealing with this global issue to sign it.”
Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Ellen MacArthur, added: “We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year. We need to move upstream to the source of the flow.
“The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic.
“This is just one step on what will be a challenging journey, but one which can lead to huge benefits for society, the economy and the environment.
“I encourage all businesses and governments to go further and embark on a race to the top in the creation of a circular economy for plastic. One in which this material never becomes waste or pollution.”
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