The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Rathbone Greenbank Investments has endorsed The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, launched this week at the Our Ocean Conference in Bali. 

Kate Elliot, Senior ethical researcher

Over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic is thought to have been produced since the 1950s and research suggests over half of this has ended up in landfill or the natural environment. If current trends continue, some predictions suggest that, by weight, there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.  

Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, the Global Commitment aims to combat this problem by promoting a circular economy for plastic and eliminating plastic waste and pollution at source.

The Global Commitment is framed around a common vision for a circular plastics economy.  This recognises the need to eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging through redesign and innovation, while seeking to ensure that all the plastic we do need is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable – not just in theory but in practice.

The focus is on plastic packaging. While this is, of course, not the only source of plastic pollution it is one of the biggest applications of plastic, and single-use plastic in particular. It is therefore a priority area for action.

Over 250 organisations, including major producers and users of plastic packaging, in addition to governments and NGOs, have signed the Global Commitment. They have committed to a set of targets that will be periodically reviewed and strengthened, and to report annually on progress toward the ultimate 2025 ambition to create an economy in which plastics never become waste.

Rathbone Greenbank is proud to endorse the Global Commitment. We will continue to encourage the companies in which we invest to move from linear ‘take-make-dispose’ models of resource consumption to more circular ways of doing business that are better for the environment, society and, ultimately, for business.