New Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste launched 

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Ellen MacArthur launches Global Commitment to fighting plastic waste
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A Global Commitment to phase out plastic waste and pollution at the source has been signed by over 290 organisations, representing 20% of all plastic packaging worldwide.  

The Commitment was officially unveiled by Ellen MacArthur at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali on 29 October.  

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The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment, and is signed by some of the largest packaging producers, brands, recyclers and NGOs. 

Signatories include: H&M Group, Danone, L’Oreal, Mars, Unilever, Veolia and Coca-Cola.  

This Commitment aims to create a “new normal” for plastic packaging, with targets being reviewed every 18 months, and becoming more ambitious over time. 

Businesses that sign the commitment will publish annual data on their progress to ensure transparency and drive motivation.   

Targets include: 

  • Eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and moving from single-use to reuse packaging models 
  • Innovation to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025 
  • Circulating the plastic produced by significantly increasing the quantity of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products.  

Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “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.” 

The Global Commitment is supported by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), and has been endorsed by the World Economic Forum, The Consumer Goods Forum (a CEO-led organisation representing some 400 retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries), and 40 universities, institutions and academics. 

More than fifteen financial institutions with the excess of $2.5 trillion assets under management have also endorsed the Commitment and over $200 million has been pledged by five venture capital funds to create a circular economy for plastics.

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