The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a global thought leader committed to the vision of a circular economy, launched the ‘New Plastics Economy’ initiative, bringing together 40 leading companies and cities to take on the challenge of the transformation towards a global plastics system that applies the principles of the circular economy.

The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies including Amcor, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Indorama Ventures, L’Oréal, MARS, M&S, Natureworks, Novamont, Sealed Air, SUEZ, The Dow Chemical Company, Unilever, and Veolia, as well as front-running cities like Copenhagen and the London Waste and Recycling Board, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs, and entrepreneurs.

Building on the recommendations of the report ‘The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics’, launched at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos in January 2016, the three-year initiative takes a concrete first step towards the design of a plastics system grounded in circular economy principles.

The report, which attracted global media attention, arguably provides the first comprehensive, overarching vision of a global circular plastics economy in which bioplastics play an essential role in decoupling the economy from fossil resources and help to return nutrients to the soil. “The report demonstrates very clearly how bioplastics can help to deliver better economic and environmental outcomes by replacing fossil with bio-based feedstocks, while developing the many benefits of plastic packaging”, says Hasso von Pogrell, Managing Director of EUBP. The report acknowledges that ‘feedstock from renewable sources helps decouple plastics production from finite fossil feedstocks and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of plastic packaging […] and potentially act as a carbon sink throughout their life cycle.’

“This new initiative is set up for three years, reflecting the scale of the challenge to mobilise over time a fundamental, system wide transformation. It seeks to create a shared sense of direction, to spark a new wave of innovation and to move the plastics value chain – starting with plastic packaging – into a positive spiral of value capture, stronger economics, and better environmental outcomes,” says Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the 11th European Bioplastics Conference 2016

Rob Opsomer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Rob Opsomer, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Rob Opsomer, Lead-Project MainStream & The Global Plastics Packaging Roadmap at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will be holding a keynote presentation at the 11th European Bioplastics Conference on 29/30 November 2016 in Berlin, elaborating on the future of plastics and in particular the role of bioplastics in the ‘New Plastics Economy’. More information on the conference, the first sneak-peak of the speaker line-up, and options to get involved as delegate, exhibitor, or sponsor can be found on the conference website