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Global businesses across the plastics value chain, financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) came together today to announce a common vision for an effective and ambitious Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution. The vision will form the basis for future policy engagements with governments through a newly launched Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty which will be convened by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF.
Building on previous efforts to raise the business voice in favor of starting intergovernmental negotiations, the organizations standing behind the vision see the global treaty as the single most important opportunity to accelerate progress towards a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution, and the value of products and materials is retained in the economy. The treaty negotiation process, which is expected to conclude at the end of 2024, will largely determine the trajectory of the plastic pollution crisis for generations to come.
“The plastic crisis extends beyond all borders, impacting the health of our oceans and wildlife, and the livelihoods of people from major cities to small coastal communities. The scope and scale of this global issue must be met with equally ambitious solutions,” said Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste and Business, WWF. “We have no time to waste. The need for global coordination to tackle the plastic pollution crisis has never been more urgent, a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty will push strongly for a framework that leaves the business-as-usual approach at the door and ushers us into a new era where ending plastic pollution is finally within reach.”
Ahead of the first Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) meeting scheduled for the end of November this year, the endorsing organizations are calling out the need for a global treaty which sets common goals, rules and obligations that member states will be required to implement within their national jurisdictions. For businesses and investors, this means creating a level playing field and preventing a patchwork of disconnected solutions.
In a strong signal of their ambition for the negotiation process, the endorsing organizations agree that the treaty must support progress on a number of key outcomes including the reduction of plastic production and use through a circular economy approach, increased circulation of necessary plastic and the prevention and remediation of hard-to-abate micro- and macro-plastic leakage into the environment. The list of organizations endorsing the common vision highlights the high-level of agreement between businesses across the plastics value chain and supporting organizations on the need to define a comprehensive and coordinated set of upstream and downstream policy measures that help achieve our desired global outcomes and are adaptable to local conditions.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF will convene organizations aligned with this vision to develop ambitious policy recommendations, engage with treaty negotiators, and build confidence in the business community on the benefits and necessity of an effective global plastics treaty.
“Many companies and countries are already taking important steps to address plastic pollution, but voluntary action alone cannot reach the scale we need to urgently solve this crisis. An ambitious global plastics treaty is required. That is why today we are announcing, in partnership with WWF, plans to form a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty. This coalition will bring together businesses from across the plastics value chain to support the development of an ambitious and effective treaty – one that accelerates the transition to a circular economy and ensures the value of products and materials is not lost but retained. Plastic can no longer be allowed to become waste or pollution.” - said Rob Opsomer, Executive Lead - Systemic Initiatives, Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The organizations endorsing the common vision for a global plastics treaty are committed to working closely with governments to raise the bar of ambition in the negotiation process, and are calling for more businesses from across the plastic value chain to engage with us on the development of a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty. Together, we can amplify our call for a legally binding effective treaty to end plastic pollution.
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The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis. Visit http://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter and signing up for our newsletter and news alerts here.
About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is an international charity that develops and promotes the circular economy in order to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. We work with our network of private and public sector decision-makers, as well as academia, to build capacity, explore collaborative opportunities, and design and develop circular economy initiatives and solutions. Increasingly based on renewable energy, a circular economy is driven by design to eliminate waste, circulate products and materials, and regenerate nature, to create resilience and prosperity for business, the environment, and society.
Further information: www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy
3M: “3M is honored to join the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, a global coalition committed to supporting the development of an effective and legally binding UN treaty to end plastic pollution. This once-in-a-generation opportunity will tackle the plastic pollution crisis and accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastics. 3M is focused on overhauling the unsustainable model of ‘take, make, waste’ and is investing over $1 billion over the next 20 years to support environmental goals, one of which is to reduce our use of virgin fossil-based plastic by 125 million pounds. We are thrilled to embark on this new mission with other global businesses, financial institutions and NGOs that are equally committed to drive systemic change needed to advance climate solutions.” - Gayle Schueller, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, 3M
The ALDI SOUTH Group: "The ALDI SOUTH GROUP is pleased to endorse the "Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty.” The use of plastic is one of the most significant challenges of our time, especially for us as a global retailer. The Treaty’s Vision will support the move from a linear system to a circular one and help support a future in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution.” - Anke Ehlers, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility International, The ALDI SOUTH Group
BNP Paribas Asset Management: “Ending plastic pollution requires the involvement of everyone, including investors and states. The task is immense but the success of the Montreal Protocol reminds us that ambitious treaties can be game changers. As the sustainable investor for a changing world, BNP Paribas Asset Management wants to signal that this treaty is a turning point for preserving our health, reducing the pressure on biodiversity loss and maintaining our societies within the planetary boundaries.” - Robert-Alexandre Poujade, Biodiversity Lead, BNP Paribas Asset Management
Borealis AG: “Plastic waste is one of today’s biggest challenges. To address it we need to accelerate the transformation to a circular economy and prevent leakage into the environment. A globally harmonised regulatory framework is key for success – the UN plastics treaty is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make this transformation happen.” - Markus Horcher, Director Sustainability & Public Affairs, Borealis AG
Danone: “The UN Treaty on Plastics is a critical opportunity to address systemic barriers to plastics circularity, including those linked to collection systems, reuse infrastructure and availability of recycled material. Danone is strongly supporting the ‘Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty’, because we want to help land an effective Treaty, with clear goals and robust policy measures to deliver them. This is the only way we can build a packaging system that eliminates both leakage into the environment and dependency on fossil fuels.” - Henri Bruxelles, Chief Sustainability and Strategic Business Development Officer, Danone
Essity: “Contributing to a global treaty addressing the world’s plastic pollution crisis is an objective we are fully committed to. We are therefore looking forward to working closely together with our peers in the international business community, with NGOs, Governments and financial institutions, to find a lasting solution that can benefit our planet and all of us”. - Anna Brodowsky, Vice President Public Affairs, Essity
Fidelity International: “As stewards of capital and investors committed to a more circular economy, we recognise the urgency of addressing plastic pollution which has a devastating impact on biodiversity and climate change. In joining the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, we will work with our peers and other stakeholders to deliver a clear and unified message, guiding effective policy implementation and ambitious goal setting to end plastic pollution.” - Jenn-Hui Tan, Global Head of Stewardship and Sustainable Investing
Henkel: “Henkel recognizes the scale of the global plastics challenge and is committed to be part of the solution to build a circular economy. We can only achieve that through a coordinated global approach of all key stakeholders, governments, industry and civil society. Henkel shares the goals of the High Ambition Coalition to address the entire lifecycle of plastic from consumption, over collection to recycling and promoting a robust circular economy with a high degree of recyclable and recycled plastics and harmonized reporting standards.”- Sylvie Nicol, Member of the Board and EVP HR, Infrastructure and Sustainability, Henkel
Mars Incorporated: “Today’s launch of the High Ambition Business Coalition can be a powerful force to support the development of an ambitious treaty that must deliver a harmonized response from governments around the world. The vision of the Coalition aligns with our own for a truly circular economy where packaging material never becomes waste - with emphasis across the life cycle of plastic, both upstream and downstream. Only by bringing together all players that can influence both the design of packaging as well as the waste management infrastructure, can we effectively work to deliver against the goal of no plastic waste. Collectively, we must drive faster solutions to address plastic pollution.” - Andy Pharoah – Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Mars
Nestlé: “Nestlé is tackling the plastic challenge within our own supply chains, however a United Nations treaty is essential to bring efforts together and solve this global crisis at scale. This is a global challenge that needs a coordinated global response, delivered at national level. That’s why we’re advocating for UN Member States to establish an international, legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.” - Rob Cameron, Global Head of Public Affairs and ESG Engagement, Nestlé
Orestia: "Inaction is leading us to a point of no return. We must turn collective complacency into concrete action." - Maria Fernanda Garza, CEO Orestia and Chair of ICC
PepsiCo: “A UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution has the potential to spur rapid progress toward a circular economy. Aligning all stakeholders around a common framework and definitions will help create a level playing field across countries and drive the systemic change needed to reclaim valuable packaging material around the world. PepsiCo believes this Coalition can help promote an ambitious and thoughtful business voice during negotiations among UN Member States. We will continue to engage in partnerships and innovation throughout the packaging value chain as we work to build a world where packaging never becomes waste and strive to achieve our 2030 goal to reduce virgin plastic by 50% per serving across our global food & beverage portfolio, including 50% recycled content in our plastic packaging. - Andrew Aulisi, VP Global Public Policy, PepsiCo
Pinovo: “Recognition of Microplastics as Plastic Pollution in the UNEA 5.2 resolution was a "game changer"! Pinovo AS, the clean blasting solution to Ocean Paint Microplastic Pollution, is delighted to endorse the Vision of the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, with its objective to prevent and remediate microplastic leakage into the environment.”
Declan Mc Adams, chairman and co-founder, Pinovo AS, Bergen, Norway
The Coca-Cola Company: "Consistent national laws support the creation of a circular economy, which enables the expansion of sustainable packaging, the use of recycled materials, and increased collection. We endorse the Coalition’s call for an effective treaty to end plastic pollution. We believe partnerships and collective action founded in a local legal framework incentivize governments, civil society and the private sector to deliver a more sustainable future." - Michael Goltzman, Global VP, Public Policy, Environmental Sustainability & Social Impact, The Coca-Cola Company
TOMRA: “TOMRA strives for a world without waste, where as an interim target by 2030, 40% of post-consumer plastic packaging will be collected for recycling, and 30% will be recycled in a closed loop. To meet these ambitious commitments and put an end to plastic pollution, we must implement proven waste management and recycling systems with immediate effect. The UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution has the power to catalyse the swift implementation of these systems - addressing the plastic pollution crisis at scale and forging the path towards a circular economy for plastics.“ - Tove Andersen, CEO, Tomra
Unilever: “From clogging our waterways to choking marine life, the urgent need to tackle plastic pollution is clear. We are making every effort to keep plastic in the economy, and out of the environment, but it’s not something we can achieve alone. The plastic system is fundamentally broken, the Treaty is our chance to remove the roadblocks to drive change, unite our shared responsibilities, and end plastic pollution.” - Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
List of organisations endorsing the common vision for a global plastics treaty (as of 20/09/2022)