The figures are startling: According to US researchers, some 5 billion tons of plastic waste have been generated since 1950, the figure grows by 150 million tons each year, and some 8 million tons of the latter ends up in the oceans, where it kills wildlife and even enters into our food supply after being ingested by fish and other organisms.
In an effort to fight against plastic waste as well as to positively respond to glowing global criticism of the plastics value chain, over two dozen companies launched the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW). Partnering with the finance community, government and civil society, including environmental and economic development NGOs, the non-profit alliance initially plans to provide around USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to support more responsible handling of plastic waste, to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste, and to develop recycling economies, particularly in Asia.
The companies in the alliance make, use, sell, process, collect or recycle plastics, and they include chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters and waste management companies. The German chemicals giants BASF and Henkel were among the alliance’s 28 founding members.