Global action plan aims to improve plastics recycling

Global action plan aims to improve plastics recycling

Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the New Plastics Economy is a three-year initiative to increase recycling of plastic packaging.

January 17, 2017

United Kingdom-based Recycling Technologies has announced its support for a new action plan, laid out in the report "The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing Action," which was launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum at its annual meeting 17 January 2017 in Davos, Switzerland. The report presents a pathway to increasing global recycling rates for plastic packaging from 14% to 70%. 

Led by the London-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the New Plastics Economy is a three-year initiative to build momentum toward a plastics system that works. The initiative provides a global action plan to align with the principles of the circular economy.

Recycling Technologies joins 39 other businesses and government leaders, as well as philanthropists, policymakers, academics and students, who have endorsed the new action plan to tackle global plastics issues, and together are working to create a more effective global system for plastics. The report provides a clear transition strategy for the industry to design better packaging, increase recycling rates and introduce new models for making better use of packaging. The action plan was produced as part of the New Plastics Economy initiative, which was launched in May 2016 as a direct result of Project MainStream, a multi-industry, CEO-led collaboration led by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Adrian Griffiths, Recycling Technologies CEO, says, “The issue of waste plastic is clearly a growing concern within the industry and to the wider public. This report outlines a clear strategy for the industry to provide better recycling rates by turning waste plastic into a resource that can be reused. At Recycling Technologies we have designed and developed a chemical process that can contribute to creating a better system for plastics."

The company says its ambition is to provide a scalable solution to boost global recycling rates for plastics. Recycling Technologies has designed the RT7000, a machine incorporating a chemical recycling process, which will be assembled on production lines and then installed at material recovery facilities (MRFs) worldwide. Through this innovative solution to boosting plastics recycling, Recycling Technologies says it will contribute to creating a circular economy for plastics, which will ultimately dramatically reduce the negative impacts of plastic waste. 

Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, says, “Acting on the findings of the report published just a year ago, here in Davos, the New Plastics Economy initiative has attracted widespread support and provides a clear plan for redesigning the global plastics system. We now see strong initial momentum and alignment around the direction to take, paving the way for concerted action.”

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 for packaging design, concentrating initially on the most impactful changes. It also will improve recycling systems by delivering collaborative projects between participant companies and cities.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting was 17-20 January 2017 in Davos, Switzerland.