Chemistry sector commits to combatting plastic waste with US$1B investment

January 16, 2019

Demonstrating strong leadership in the face of an urgent issue, the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) enthusiastically welcomes the announcement today of a global alliance of companies in the plastics and consumer goods value chain committing US$1 billion to help combat plastic waste in the environment.

Comprised of nearly 30 member-companies – including CIAC members BASF, Dow, Imperial Oil (via ExxonMobil) NOVA Chemicals and Shell Chemicals – the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) has committed over US$1 billion with the goal of investing US$1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment.

The not-for-profit Alliance will develop and bring to scale solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions for used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy. Working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as a founding strategic partner, the Alliance has developed an initial set of projects and collaborations which include partnering with cities to design waste management systems, collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme and funding the Incubator Network by Circulate Capital, among others.

Last June, the North American chemistry and plastics industries signaled their support for a more circular economy for plastics by announcing ambitious goals which will see industry do its part by ensuring 100 per cent of plastics packaging is capable of being recycled or recovered by 2030 and 100 per cent of plastics packaging re-used, recycled, or recovered by 2040. Achieving these goals in Canada will require major shifts in resources, policies and consumer behavior, as well as innovation from the chemistry sector.

“Unfortunately, nearly 80% of all post-consumer plastics in Canada end up in landfills mainly as a result of improper sorting, contamination and the limited diversion tools at our disposal. This represents a terrible waste of energy and precious resources,” said Bob Masterson, President and CEO of CIAC.

“The chemistry and plastics industries strongly support the transition to a more circular economy – one that prioritizes durability and longer product life cycles while increasing the recovery of materials at their end of life. CIAC congratulates the Alliance in this leap toward a more sustainable economy for our industry’s products,” said Mr. Masterson.

For more information on the Alliance, please see the full announcement here and visit www.endplasticwaste.org.