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Recycling revolution offers up billion dollar opportunity

|16 January 2017|

Switzerland

An ambitious action plan to recycle 70% of all global plastic packaging has been endorsed by more than 40 industry leaders.

It represents a five fold increase on today’s recycling rate of 14%. The roadmap to achieving the transition is revealed in  The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action, a new study by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with analytical support from SYSTEMIQ –  with its latest report launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.

The report provides a clear transition strategy for the global plastics industry to design better packaging, increase recycling rates, and introduce new models for making better use of packaging.

“This could drive systemic change. The plan puts innovation at the heart of a strategy that could shift the entire system while unlocking a billion dollar business opportunity. Alignment along value chains and between the public and private sector is key to this,” said Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum.

Key partners in the New Plastics Economy initiative include Amcor, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, MARS, Novamont, Unilever, and Veolia.

“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,” Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder, Ellen MacArthur Foundation said.

The focus of the New Plastics Economy over the next year will be on bringing about wide scale innovation.  The initiative will launch two global innovation challenges to kick-start the redesign of materials and packaging formats, and begin building a set of global common standards (a ‘Global Plastics Protocol’) for packaging design, concentrating initially on the most impactful changes. It will also improve recycling systems by delivering collaborative projects between participant companies and cities. To support the shift to circular design thinking and systems perspectives and to inspire innovators, entrepreneurs and designers, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and IDEO are launching a new, publicly available ‘circular design guide’ in Davos. 

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Written By

Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.

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