WEF working to curb ocean plastic pollution

Communities, entrepreneurs and government agencies in Indonesia are fighting pollution and showing considerable scope for innovation. But swifter action is needed.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is mobilizing a new partnership to avert the growth in global plastic pollution by 2025.
The initiative is the Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP).  It will collaborate with government and stakeholders in coastal economies who are battling waste. It aims to translate ambitious commitments into action and show how business, communities and government can redesign the global “take-make-dispose” economy as a circular one.

Tackling plastic waste in Indonesia

The first collaboration is with the Government of Indonesia. The world’s largest archipelago is suffering a crisis of plastic waste.  As such, the government has a national plan to reduce it by 70% over the next seven years.
Communities, entrepreneurs and government agencies in Indonesia are fighting pollution.  Certainly, they are showing considerable scope for innovation, but swifter action is needed.
“Indonesia has some of the world’s highest levels of marine biodiversity, which support crucial fisheries, provide food security for millions and drive a vital tourism economy,” said Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs of Indonesia.
“We all need a healthy ocean, which is why we have set ambitious national targets to tackle plastic waste. By mobilizing public, private and community support, and accelerating innovations such as biodegradable materials, we can drive a circular economy to beat plastic pollution.”

Going in circle

circular economy is a regenerative approach to production and consumption, in which products and materials are redesigned, recovered and reused to reduce environmental impacts.
The governments of Canada and the United Kingdom as well as several companies, namely The Coca-Cola Company, Dow Chemical and the PepsiCo Foundation, are funding the partnership.
Furthermore, there are also collaborations in two other coastal nations.  One in West Africa and the other a small island developing state.
Finally, the partnership aims to have investable solutions in place by 2020.  Thereafter, other countries can adapt and implement these solutions.
These three proofs-of-concept will coincide with the UN’s next landmark ocean conference.
The WEF will host the partnership in collaboration with the World Resources Institute. Most noteworthy, this will allow it to tap into two networks of experts, civil society, government and industry leaders.  PACE (a circular economy platform) and The Friends of Ocean Action (a network of ocean leaders dedicated to fast-tracking practical solutions to challenges facing the ocean).
Additionally, the partnership will collaborate with Pew Charitable Trusts on data analysis and modelling at the national level to drive evidence-based action.
Importantly, the ocean provides more than one-half of the Earth’s oxygen.  It stabilizes the climate.   And billions of people depend on it for food, employment and their livelihoods.
Therefore, plastic waste is straining this vital food and planetary lifeline.
 

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