Google joins New Plastics Economy as Technology Partner


Google has joined the Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative as a Technology Partner, and with other participating organisations, will scale-up solutions to eliminate plastic waste and pollution through its latest technology.

Google has been a Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since 2015, working together on topics which range from consumer electronics and advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning to urban planning and construction. In 2019, Google announced its circular economy vision — to become a Circular Google in a Sustainable world. The company has recently started focusing its efforts on plastics, specifically on how their tools and technology can be applied to support the circular economy for plastics.

The vision of a circular economy for plastic is underpinned by three main actions: (1) Eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic items (2) Innovate to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable. (3) Circulate all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment. Innovation is required at every step of the value chain to support the circularity of plastics, hence - data, information, and other forms of technology will be vital. The partnership with Google provides key opportunities to collaborate and collate the different information and technology needs of the value chain, so all those involved can reach their New Plastics Economy Global Commitment targets and beyond.

“This is a really exciting opportunity to expand the possible solutions this network can work on, from applying technology to support new delivery models, to monitoring towards creating better transparency on global plastic material flows and leakage. Through developing and using new data tools, such as through this partnership with Google, we can solve key challenges in the transition to a circular economy for plastics.” — Sander Defruyt, Lead of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative

Note: The Global Environment Facility and the Oak Foundation are the philanthropic funders of the New Plastics Economy initiative. Wendy Schmidt, through The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation, is the lead philanthropic partner.