Swift Action and Strong Leadership
We want a world that is free of plastic waste in the environment and we want to protect our natural resources and ecosystems which communities everywhere depend on, especially in developing countries. This calls for swift action and strong leadership, and the Alliance is connecting all industry sectors to develop solutions that will help solve the plastic waste challenge that we face as a society.
No one can do it alone.
We need to unite industry, governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations to develop and invest in projects that harness their collective resources and technical expertise.
In January 2019, we founded the Alliance to End Plastic Waste as a nonprofit organisation to help solve this serious and complex issue – 8 million tons of plastic waste entering the ocean every year.
Nearly fifty companies across the plastics value chain have joined the Alliance and together they have committed to invest US$1.5 billion towards solutions that will prevent the leakage as well as recover and create value from plastic waste.
Ultimately, these solutions prove the investment market of plastic waste to venture capital, private investors, development banks and governments to deliver truly transformational change.
Addressing an issue of global proportions
We are guided by 10 fundamental concepts to end plastic waste:
1. The trends are clear
The data is difficult to harness but far too much plastic waste is mismanaged and leaks into the environment, such as through open dumping, open burning, and disposal in waterways.
2. Think global act local
While this is global issue but a local municipal responsibility. Lower-income communities and cities bordering water bodies play a crucial role in our mission especially capturing rivers in South and Southeast Asia countries that are sources of river-based plastics to the ocean.
3. Individual actions are not enough
Collaboration and orchestrated actions are needed from a diversity of partners on the ground.
4. Changing behaviors
Projects must encourage and support change through convenient access to waste collection systems so people are inspired to participate in waste sorting and recycling.
5. From waste to worth
Plastic still has value after its first use. Recovering and extracting this value is a critical outcome for a circular supply chain.
6. Public-private partnerships
Governments want to tackle plastic waste and seek knowledge and best practices so that they can further the actions needed for their communities.
7. Projects and partnerships
To advance projects, we need to leverage partnerships that move us faster towards ending plastic waste.
8. Moving up the hierarchy
In many places, we must start with short-term solutions (getting on the waste management hierarchy) while we also help communities “move up” the hierarchy.
9. Front-end design plays a role
From reduction of materials to design for recyclability and material innovation, design is an important link to circular solutions.
10. New models and approaches
Tackling plastic waste in the environment may impact current business models but it will also create new ones that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Prevent over three million metric tons of plastic waste leaking into the environment per year
When we break this down, we are looking to demonstrate at least three zero-plastic-waste cities and divert over 3,400 kilotons of plastic waste through Alliance projects helping more than 100 at-risk cities. We expect our work will bring forth solutions that support healthy livelihoods for over 135 million lives in 135 communities by enabling local ownerships of waste management.
With a commitment of US$1.5 billion over the next five years, we expect our funds will unlock up to US$8 billion worth of investments that will further accelerate other actions to end plastic waste in the environment. Further, we look for these demonstrated solutions to be models for reapplication towards the greater ambition of ending plastic waste in our environment.
And we welcome all companies, big or small, from all regions and sectors to join us on this journey.
Pairing technical knowledge with grant-making, impact investing, engineering support, our actions reflect four strategic pillars - Infrastructure, Innovation, Education & Engagement, Clean-Up.
Over three billion people worldwide* do not have access to waste collection and no access to proper waste disposal facilities. Managing waste through improved collection, sortation, treatment and recycling, especially in parts of the world where waste management systems are lacking, is our greatest challenge.
* The Ocean Conference, United Nations June 2017
Education and Engagement
Education is powerful because it brings lasting change. Projects must not only trigger business or technical evolution, but they must inspire people to learn and participate in what it takes to end plastic waste in the environment.
Para-phrasing Albert Einstein, ‘You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created.’
Our role is to support ideas that will take us to the next level of technologies and solutions that support a circular economy.
Universal access to an environment free of plastic waste starts at its source. In particular, we look for our clean-up activities to be enduring. We seek to identify the source so we can work to stop the flow of vast amounts of land-based plastic waste from entering our rivers and ocean in the first place.
We are making progress.
It is important that we direct resources to actions that maximize ending plastic waste in the environment. And as the Alliance grows, we learn and evolve the way we identify and select our projects. Today, where we play is built around six actions most critical to the impact of our mission. They are front-end-design, access to collection, participation & engagement, waste sorting, waste processing and end-markets.
The intersection of these action areas and the four strategic pillars ensure projects and partnerships advance our ambition.
Collect, divert & transform ocean-bound plastic waste from into marketable, recyclable materials and create opportunities for waste pickers.Read More >
Design and deploy a system to collect waste, enable recycling, create jobs, clean up areas and improve lives.Read More >
Develop, promote, incubate technologies & models that prevent ocean plastic pollution.Read More >
Launched with Plug and Play, to support startups that transform approaches to collect/sort waste, recycle and create value from post-recycled plastics.Read More >
In partnership with Grameen Creative Labs, to create a waste management system with economic opportunities for waste pickers in India and Vietnam.Read More >
In SE Asia explores technology to breakdown hard-to-recycle plastics to their basic building blocks that can then be transformed into entirely new & valuable products.Read More >