The Alliance crystallises its strategy to deliver ambition of greater impact
Singapore, December 8, 2021 – The Alliance to End Plastic Waste launched its annual progress report today, which highlights how the organisation’s projects are beginning to deliver impact, after 2 years of foundation-laying work. Since 2019, the Alliance has developed a portfolio of more than 35 projects, currently in various stages of implementation, across 80 cities.
The Alliance in Action: Progress Report 2021 calls attention to infrastructure projects, such as Project STOP Jembrana, Closing the Loop and Planks of Promise—pilots that support the Alliance’s focus to improve waste collection, sorting, and processing to address plastic waste leakage in underserved communities across Asia and Africa. These infrastructure projects undergo detailed feasibility studies or pilot modelling to ensure that they address practical needs in the communities they serve before they are implemented. The aim is to deliver, underpinned by innovation and technology that can eventually be scaled, owned, and operated by these communities.
During the year, the Alliance grew its portfolio of projects by about 80% and now covers Europe and the Americas as well. It now also includes investments and partnerships to develop and test-bed technologies that will help improve waste sorting—through the HolyGrail 2.0 Digital Watermarks Initiative—or improve the value of difficult-to-recycle plastics.
“Despite the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we set in motion efforts to scale for impact and we are beginning to see early results,” said Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance. “The Alliance remains fully committed to our ambition of diverting millions of tons of plastic waste from the environment.”
He added: Our confidence is grounded on a clear strategy guiding our work—to develop, deploy and de-risk solutions at the seed stage and to close gaps in the plastics circular economy. This year, we have begun demonstrating that with our investment of time, financial and technical resources, the approach works.”
For example, the Closing the Loop project in partnership with the ASASE Foundation in Ghana, successfully scaled up its annual plant production capacity from 35 metric tons in 2018 to 2,000 metric tons this year, after receiving technical and financial support from the Alliance. The social enterprise aims to expand operations with 2 new collection centres in 2022.
The next chapter
Looking ahead, the Alliance will focus on scaling solutions to close 6 gaps that stand in the way of achieving plastics circularity, including:
- Improving the quality of recycled materials,
- Securing enough plastic recycling,
- Ensuring that recycled content is affordable when compared with virgin plastic materials,
- Designing plastic products and supply chains that fit the principles of a circular economy,
- Providing reliable data at all points of the global plastics value chain, and
- Aligning various points of view about plastic waste management to make progress in plastic circularity.
Mr Duer noted that given the size of the plastic waste challenge, more parties are needed to unlock resources to enable viable, investable solutions at scale. This year, the Alliance grew its membership to more than 67 and established its independent Advisory Council, comprising environmental policy and opinion leaders from government, intergovernmental organisations, civil society, and academia.
The progress report describes the Alliance’s work across its four strategic pillars—infrastructure, innovation, education & engagement, and cleanup, across different regions. The “Our strategy in action” section describes how the Alliance supports local partners and de-risks projects in communities across the world.
For more information and access to Alliance in Action: Progress Report 2021, please visit endplasticwaste.org/en/our-stories/progress-report-2021.