New Alliance to End Plastic Waste launched

Nearly 30 companies have committed to invest over $1bn developing solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, including ExxonMobil, Mitsubishi and Total.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste said it would design infrastructure to manage waste and increase recycling, and also support technologies to create value from post-use plastics.

It hopes to increase investment to $1.5bn over the next five years, and will also help clean-up areas with concentrated plastic waste, such as rivers, and engage with community education programmes to mobilise action.

Dr Martin Brudermüller, chief technology officer at chemicals company BASF SE, which co-founded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, said plastics are efficient and convenient materials that can enable health and safety.

“These benefits could be contradicted if plastics and their waste are neither used nor disposed, nor recycled in a responsible manner,” he continued.

“We are co-founding the Alliance to End Plastic Waste because we want to drive and promote solutions that will effectively help solve the world’s plastic waste problem.”

However, the alliance has come under criticism from Recycling Netwerk, which said that the initiative seems to be “nothing more than a large greenwashing operation”.

The NGO revealed that members have scheduled billion dollar investments in the expansion of plastic production, despite claiming to be trying to solve the waste problem.

It accused the alliance of clinging to “end-of-pipe measures”, warning that clean-ups of streets and rivers will not be an effective solution unless plastic waste is tackled at its source.

“The alliance was launched with a huge marketing effort – the signatories claim to invest over a billion dollars to end plastic waste,” Recycling Netwerk said.

“But an overview of pending investments in the expansion of plastic production quickly reveals the hypocrisy of the alliance. Without tackling the production of plastic at its source, all clean-up efforts will be in vain.”

 

Image credit | iStock

Author: 

Chris Seekings is a reporter for TRANSFORM

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