In an article published on January 25, 2019 by news provider Plastics News, reporter Steve Toloken informed about the significant attention the issue of plastic waste received at this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. On January 24th, heads of major plastic packaging manufacturers and downstream users including Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo participated in a televised panel at the WEF with environment officials from France and Vietnam.

When asked about their future outlook on the issue, many of the panelists “said they see ‘huge progress’ coming as public concern drives government and industry to do more.” Dow’s CEO placed an emphasis on the importance of also using chemical recycling to address the issue. He is reported as saying “[i]t would be great if we could get the chemical recycling back to a monomer state where I can make plastics out of that same plastic again.” From the government side, “. . . the French minister made it clear that her government plans active campaigns to get more companies to make commitments around plastic pollution.”

A number of industry initiatives also launched during the forum, including “[r]esin maker Sabic. . . announc[ing] that its partnership with U.K.-based chemical recycler Plastic Energy Ltd. will supply polymers made from hard-to-recycle mixed plastic waste to Unilever, Vinventions and Walki Group.”

An announcement that gathered much attention was from U.S.-based recycling company TerraCycle, which plans to launch Loop, a packaging re-use initiative in partnership with multiple major consumer goods brands (FPF reported).

Read more

Steve Toloken  (January 25, 2019). “Davos takes up plastic waste, with hope and a warning to companies.” Plastics News

World Economic Forum (January 25, 2019). “Transforming the Plastics Economy.”

Flora Southey (January 24, 2019). “Waste experts gather in Davos: There is ‘no silver bullet’ to the world’s plastic pollution problem.” Food Navigator

Plastics News  (January 28, 2019). “Material Insights: PepsiCo, Coca-Cola leaders discuss PET recycling technology, plastics waste.”