Plastic waste and pollution have captured the attention of the public, governments, and businesses around the world. Along with the search for solutions that can be scaled up, there is growing recognition that addressing the symptoms of this crisis through clean-ups is not enough. We need to move away from today’s linear take-make-waste model and fundamentally rethink the way we design, use, and reuse plastics. A systemic shift tackling the root causes is required: a transition towards a circular economy for plastic, in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution.
The 2016 and 2017 New Plastics Economy reports captured worldwide headlines and became global reference points. They have played an important role in shifting the global debate on plastics, mobilising a systemic shift towards the common vision for a circular economy for plastic, with industry commitments, government policies, and increased public awareness reinforcing each other on the path to making it a reality.
Leveraging the success of the reports, over the past four years, the New Plastics Economy initiative has been rallying businesses and governments behind this common vision of a circular economy for plastic. Run in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, NGOs, and citizens, the initiative has brought together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging.
Today, the New Plastics Economy initiative is catalysing change within the plastics sector through its vision for a circular economy for plastic, which unites more than 850 organisations. Central to the initiative and widely endorsed, the vision is supported by three key actions: eliminate, innovate, circulate.