With growing awareness of the scale and urgency needed to address marine litter, plastics industry leaders asked leading academic, sustainability and finance experts to provide their thoughts on effective solutions. Those voices and perspectives are highlighted in a video unveiled at the Chemical Industries Association’s (CIA) annual conference on 15 November in London.
Marine litter is a global challenge, and plastics manufacturers together with their value chains and other stakeholders are strongly committed to playing a leading role in preventing plastics from leaking into the environment and providing concrete solutions. This will include prevention, innovation, and basic waste collection, sorting and treatment where they are most needed, as well as engaging with public and private sector stakeholders to provide education. Experts agree that stemming the tide will require new circular business models, as well as significant investment in waste management, particularly in countries that have yet to invest in systems and infrastructure to manage and repurpose waste.
The advantages of plastics in our daily lives are countless: plastics allow us to do more with less, helping to avoid food waste, save energy in our homes and decrease CO2 emissions. However, plastic makers agree that plastics have no place in the environment, and they are certainly too valuable to be littered or thrown away.
The five-minute video features world renowned professionals in the plastics sector who bring global perspectives, namely Richard Thompson OBE – Professor of Marine Biology, University of Plymouth, Patrick Thomas – Founder of the World Plastics Council, Robert Kaplan – Founder/CEO, Circulate Capital, Nina Goodrich – Director, Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Anton de Vries – Director, Enerkem.
 These include the American Chemistry Council, British Plastics Federation, Chemical Industries Association, PlasticsEurope and World Plastics Council
Jim Seward, Chairman, World Plastics Council said: “The problem of plastic waste in our environment is solvable. It requires innovation, investment and changing the way we all think about plastics and plastic waste.”
Steven K. Russell, Vice President, Plastics Division, American Chemistry Council (ACC) said: “Plastic makers understand the urgent need to eliminate plastic waste from entering the environment and we are working with our value chains to deliver more recyclable products, innovative new formats, and optimised waste treatment systems.”
Philip Law, Director-General, British Plastics Federation (BPF) said: “The public is now more aware than ever of the damage that irresponsibly discarded plastic waste can have on the environment. We all want to leave the environment in a better place for future generations – and we all have a part to play. This video provides an excellent summary of why we need plastics and some of the innovative solutions being developed by industry.”
“Finding the right balance so that society can continue to benefit from the added value brought by plastics and negative aspects arising from their end of use (waste) are effectively managed is vital. Plastic litter is a global issue and therefore all stakeholders need to find effective ways for sharing learning from initiatives, so that as a collective society we realise the benefits for taking positive action towards achieving a more sustainable use of plastics. CIA believes this to be achievable if we all work together.”, said Steve Elliott, Chief Executive, Chemical Industries Association (CIA).
“As a society, we need to take advantage of the opportunities that the new plastics economy offers.”, said Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope. “Delivering on our ambitious targets for re-use, recycling and/or recovery of all plastics packaging together with the full value chain is key. Nevertheless, these efforts need to be complemented by the strong commitment of policy makers and public authorities to ensure investments in waste management infrastructure. Only together we can solve the waste challenge as a whole.”
In partnership with ITN Productions, the programme features key industry interviews and news-style reports, introduced by national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky.
Contact: Richard Amberger
Communications Manager, World Plastics Council (WPC)
+49 621 6046910, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Jennifer Killinger
Sr. Director of Sustainability & Public Outreach, American Chemistry Council (ACC)
+1 202 249 6619, email@example.com
Contact: Rob Mills
Head of Communications, British Plastics Federation (BPF)
+44(0)20 7457 5007, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Simon Marsh
Communications Director, Chemical Industries Association (CIA)
+44(0)20 7963 6791, email@example.com
Contact: Camelia Vasile
Communications and Media Manager, PlasticsEurope
+32 (0)2 676 17 57, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the organisations
The World Plastics Council (WPC) is a global forum for leading resin producing companies to accelerate cooperation and to deliver improved outcomes for the benefit of society. WPC is committed to contributing solutions to marine litter and advancing sustainability.
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents a diverse set of companies engaged in the business of chemistry. An innovative, $526 billion enterprise, we work to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our nation and our world. Our mission is to deliver value to our members through advocacy, using best-in-class member engagement, political advocacy, communications and scientific research. We are committed to fostering progress in our economy, environment and society.
Established in 1933 the British Plastics Federation (BPF) is the most powerful voice in the UK plastic industry with over 500 members across the plastics industry supply chain, including polymer producers and suppliers, additive manufacturers, recyclers, services providers, end users, plastics processors and machinery manufacturers, representing over 80% of the industry by turnover.
The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) is the organisation representing and advising chemical and pharmaceutical companies located across the UK. Our core membership is a diverse mix of chemical and pharmaceutical companies operating within the UK. Our representation includes lobbying legislations, policy-makers and stakeholders on the issues that affect our member companies the most. We do this at UK, European and international level.
PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. The association is networking with European and national plastics associations and has more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU28 member states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.
ITN Productions is ITN’s bespoke production hub producing creative and commercially valuable content for the corporate, commercial, broadcast and digital sectors. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news programme format, including interviews, news-style items and sponsored editorial profiles.