A new system for plastics
If we do nothing, plastic waste will overtake our world. The circular economy can help us stop this happening
Plastic pollution is a huge challenge to our environment and the future health of our planet. If we don’t act now, by 2050 there could be more plastic in our oceans than fish.
In March 2022, UN member states responded to this threat in a historic moment. They agreed on the adoption of a mandate for an International Negotiation Committee (INC) to develop a legally binding UN Treaty on plastic pollution.
The resolution includes explicit references to a circular economy, full life cycle, and sustainable production and consumption.
The negotiations for a global plastics treaty began in December 2022 at the first International Negotiation Committee.
In a future in which plastic is part of a circular economy, it never becomes waste.
To create a circular economy we must take three actions:
- Eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic items
- Innovate to ensure the plastics we do use are reusable, recyclable or compostable
- Circulate the plastic we use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment
By taking these actions, plastic waste in our environment If we don’t change our current system, plastic waste could double by 2040.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation for Circular Economy
One major aim of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity promoting the transition to a circular economy, is that the use of plastic is fully decoupled from the consumption of finite resources.
The charity’s aim is to:
- Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign, innovation and new delivery models
- Reuse where relevant, reducing the need for single-use packaging
- Make all plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable
- Fully decouple plastic from the consumption of finite resources
- Make all plastic packaging free of hazardous chemicals, and ensure the health, safety and rights of all people involved are respected
Benefits of reusing
Wherever relevant, reuse business models should be explored as a preferred option, reducing the need for single-use plastic packaging.
A renewed system for plastics will benefit both the environment and the economy. This means keeping materials in use – either as products or, when they can no longer be used, as components or raw materials. This way, nothing becomes waste and the intrinsic value of products and materials is retained.
As the first strategic financial services partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Intesa Sanpaolo is committed to helping make the circular economy a reality – including how plastic is used. It makes sense for both the planet and business.