On January 16, 2017 the New Plastics Economy initiative launched its latest report entitled “The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action” at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The report was produced by the WEF and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, with analytical support from SYSTEMIQ, and provides “a clear transition strategy for the global plastics industry to design better packaging, increase recycling rates, and introduce new models for making better use of packaging.” The three key conclusions and strategies presented in the report include:
1) About 30% of plastic packaging applications (by weight) are by design “destined for landfill, incineration, or energy recovery, and are often likely to leak into the environment after a short single use.” For this segment, fundamental redesign and innovation are required to allow for reuse or recycling.
2) For at least 20% of plastic packaging, “reuse provides an economically attractive opportunity.” New delivery models, replacing single-use packaging with reusable alternatives, have already been effectively demonstrated in the cleaning and personal care market, measures to reduce the usage of single-use bags, returnable beverage bottle systems, and the business-to-business market.
3) With improvements in packaging design (e.g. material choice, additives, formats) and optimized collection, sorting, and recycling processes, “recycling would be economically attractive for the remaining 50% of plastic packaging.”
New Plastics Economy (January 16, 2017). “Catalysing action.”
New Plastics Economy (January 16, 2017). “Industry endorses plan to recycle 70% of plastic packaging globally.”
New Plastics Economy (January 16, 2017). “In support of the New Plastics Economy: Endorsements by over 40 industry leaders for global action plan.”
ACC (January 16, 2017). “Plastics Division welcomes recommendations for innovation to support packaging sustainability.”
Steve Toloken (January 17, 2017). “Davos report calls for boosting plastics recycling to 70 percent.” Plastics News
Plastics News Europe (January 17, 2017). “Ellen MacArthur Foundation: We can recycle 70% of plastic packaging.”
DW (January 17, 2017). “Big businesses vow to tackle plastics problem.”
Plasteurope (January 25, 2017). “Plastics and environment.”
World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and SYSTEMIQ (2017). “The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action.” (pdf)