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Forget Incremental Improvements: 40 Companies, Cities Working to Activate New Plastics Economy

May 25, 2016

Forget Incremental Improvements: 40 Companies, Cities Working to Activate New Plastics Economy

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative kicks off today with an inaugural workshop that brings together more than 40 leading companies including Amcor, Coca-Cola, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Indorama Ventures, Marks & Spencer, MARS, Natureworks, Novamont, Sealed Air, SUEZ, Unilever and Veolia, as well as front-running cities such as Copenhagen, and London’s Waste and Recycling Board.

Building on the recommendations of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics report, launched at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in January, the three-year initiative is taking a concrete first step towards the design of a plastics system grounded in circular economy principles. The report, which attracted global media attention, arguably provides the first comprehensive view of the global plastic packaging value chain, highlighting its contributions but also revealing significant drawbacks. With material value loss running at $80-120 billion a year in the industry and negative environmental externalities costing at least $40 billion a year — a figure greater than the plastic packaging industry’s profit pool — the opportunity for the global economy of transforming the system is clear (not to mention Trucost’s recent estimate that scaling up companies’ use of recovered plastics and alternative materials could deliver additional environmental savings of $3.5 billion).

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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