PARIS — Four global companies have joined forces to curb plastic pollution in the Global South, a classification which refers to Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, some parts of Asia and Oceania, as well as South Korea and Japan.
Amcor, Delterra, Mars and Procter & Gamble (P&G) have initiated a strategic partnership through which they will work to sale up- and downstream solutions toward a more circular plastics economy. The companies have committed $6 million collectively toward the project over the next five years.
“We are excited about this partnership with Delterra and like-minded peers in the industry,” said Allison Lin, global vice president of packaging sustainability at Mars. “We want to demonstrate that we can create successful programs for waste management and recycling systems particularly in the Global South, that currently lacks the infrastructure we need to stop plastic pollution. Scale will enable these systems to be self-sustained and ultimately, protect people and planet while at the same time creating value for local communities. We call on all parties gathering in Paris for the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations to agree on a regulatory framework that enables the creation of effective waste management infrastructure systems everywhere in the world.”
The partnership precedes a second committee meeting to negotiate the Global Plastics Treaty (INC-2), which is currently working toward crafting a globally binding means for combatting plastic pollution. Amcor, Delterra, Mars and P&G will leverage each other’s resources along a shared sentiment that the global issue of plastic pollution must be solved through a collaborative, systematic and holistic approach.
“It will take the entire value chain — including businesses like P&G — to prove out new circular business models while improving waste management,” said Stacie Hecht, packaging and waste leader for global sustainability at P&G.
The partnership seeks to address inadequate waste management and circularity solutions along the entire value chain. This includes going to the source — designing waste out of the plastic economy through Delterra’s Plastic IQ digital tool, which aims to help companies understand their true plastic footprint — as well as working with downstream processes to optimize recycling and composting of materials through Delterra’s Rethinking Recycling program.
The companies will also strive for traceability solutions to help companies source more sustainable materials and address quality and ethical concerns across the recycling chain.
“Solving plastic pollution — and indeed the broader waste crisis — requires a rethinking of the way we produce and manage waste,” said Shannon Bouton, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Delterra. “This includes a rapid expansion of waste collection and sortation and reliable recycling markets, alongside a deeper redesign of how we consume. We are inspired that these organizations are stepping up to this challenge alongside Delterra and we invite more companies to join this growing partnership.”
The partnership will first focus on providing better access to waste management and recycling systems for 10 million people residing in Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil.
“This partnership of leaders from the packaging value chain will make a real difference in creating a circular economy for packaging and eliminating plastic waste from the environment,” said David Clark, vice president of sustainability at Amcor. “Our partnership with Delterra in Latin America has shown us that shared commitments enable great progress when working collaboratively. We understand the critical importance of stemming pollution at the source by designing waste out of the system and returning plastic into the value chain as recycled content. This strategic partnership is a milestone achievement towards this ultimate goal."
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