The action plan, laid out in a new report The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action, was launched by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at Davos.
The initiative is designed to ensure 70% of plastic packaging is reused and recycled globally, up from today’s recycling rate of 14%.
The remaining 30% of plastic packaging, equivalent to 10 billion garbage bags per year, needs fundamental redesign and innovation, according to the group.
The New Plastics Economy has warned there could be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.
The report provides strategies for the global plastics industry that it states helps design better packaging, increase recycling rates, and introduce new models for making better use of packaging.
It finds that 20% of plastic packaging could be profitably re-used, for example by replacing single-use plastic bags with re-usable alternatives, or by designing innovative packaging models based on product refills.
A further 50% of plastic packaging could be profitably recycled if improvements are made to packaging design and systems for managing it after use, it adds.
“Without fundamental redesign and innovation, the remaining 30% of plastic packaging (by weight) will never be recycled and will continue to destine the equivalent of 10 billion garbage bags per year to landfill or incineration. Innovation in packaging design, recyclable and compostable materials, and reprocessing technologies are likely all required to move this challenging segment forward.”
Core partners in the New Plastics Economy initiative include Amcor, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Mars, Novamont, Unilever, and Veolia.
Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “The New Plastics Economy initiative has attracted widespread support, and across the industry we are seeing strong initial momentum and alignment on the direction to take. The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action provides a clear plan for redesigning the global plastics system, paving the way for concerted action.”
The group said the focus of the New Plastics Economy over the next year will be on bringing about wide scale innovation.
Source: News – Packaging News | Jobs | Production | Design | Innovation