The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, signed by packaging manufacturers, retailers and recyclers representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced worldwide, officially kicked off October 29 at a conference in Bali.
Signatories, which include numerous world's largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, represent 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally.
Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, stressed that while plastic clean up initiatives are now needed to protect the oceans, it is also vital to stop plastic pollution at "source".
"Ocean plastic is one of the most visible and disturbing examples of a plastic pollution crisis", Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, said in the statement from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
"Eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic is key, whilst making sure that the plastic we do use, can be safely reused, recycled or composted".
Targets set under the Global Commitment will be reviewed every 18 months and ambitions will be scaled-up over the coming years.
Businesses signing the Commitment have undertaken to publish yearly data about progress on the central goals of the project. Individual targets within the commitment were set, and the collective ambition among signatories will grow with time.
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Continue to invest in responsibly managed renewable sources (sugarcane biobased plastic, now this sits at 80%) across all its packaging between 2018 and 2025. More than $200 million has been pledged to create a circular economy for plastic. One in which this material never becomes waste or pollution.
Aside from the partnership, SC Johnson, as a whole, also pledged to improve 100 percent recyclable, reusable, and compostable packaging by 2025 from its current 90 percent.
Last week, the European Parliament voted for a complete ban on single-use plastic items, including straws and cutlery, in a bid to curb pollution.
While many solutions have been attempted to this end, they have largely met with limited success because a substantial number of the areas directly responsible for ocean plastics leakage are impoverished areas with limited infrastructure and security problems which make recyclers susceptible to robbery or theft if they are rewarded with cash. "In the next few years people who use our products will be looking for packs that are recyclable or use recycled content, and we will be telling them on the packaging when that's the case".
By signing the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, UPM Raflatac wants to demonstrate its commitment to "labeling a smarter future" beyond fossils.
The company is also stimulating demand for collecting and recycling, contributing towards its toothpaste tubes and toothbrushes being collected, and reusing the plastic to create spanners to open bulk containers, reducing the use of virgin plastics.