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Industry Association: ‘Uncollected Plastics Hurt the Environment; Let’s Fix It’

The Plastics Industry Association today publicly acknowledged the environmental challenge presented by uncollected plastics, and announced its commitment to “preventing and mitigating marine debris through strengthened recovery systems around the globe.”

The association pinpointed a number of priorities to bolster its commitment and “meaningfully” address marine debris, including:

  • educating manufacturers and the public to prevent litter;
  • expanding collection opportunities;
  • developing new end markets that increase demand for recycled plastics;
  • promoting the design of plastic products in a way that facilitates recovery;
  • promoting clean-ups;
  • ensuring plastics are managed properly at manufacturing sites through programs like Operation Clean Sweep and Zero Net Waste.

The association says it is partnering with other associations, NGOs, and intergovernmental authorities to strengthen recovery systems around the globe and prevent the loss of any plastics – “all of which are valuable,” according to the statement – into the environment.

As other organizations have acknowledged, when it comes to global environmental responsibility, a collaborative approach is likely the best way to address the problem. The Plastics Industry Association statement on marine debris “serves as a public commitment by the industry to meaningfully address the problem and as a bridge to open dialogue about solutions with other important partners that are equally invested in solving this issue.”

The Plastics Industry Association supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $404 billion US industry.


‘Beat Plastics Pollution’

The announcement comes a week after World Environment Day, with its theme of beating pollution from uncollected plastics. The UN points out that the world generates 300 million metric tons of plastic waste per year, and that half of all plastics produced are meant for single-use consumption before being thrown away.

As Environmental Leader reported last week, major global companies including Reckitt Benckiser and Infosys joined the UN’s Beat Plastics Pollution movement.

Photo credit: Neil Brown, Flickr Creative Commons

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