This document combines the main insights from two previously published reports by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with the support of the World Economic Forum: The New Plastics Economy Rethinking the Future of Plastics (2016) and The New Plastics Economy Catalysing Action (2017).
As estimated by the authors of the report, plastics production has surged twenty-fold over the past 50 years, from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to 311 million tonnes in 2014, and is expected to double again over the next 20 years, as plastics come to serve increasingly many applications. Plastic packaging, the focus of this report, is and will remain the largest application; currently, packaging represents 26% of the total volume of plastics used. The main problem is that plastics are used inefficiently: after a short first-use cycle, 95% of plastic packaging material value, or USD 80120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. Moreover, unrecycled plastic packaging generates significant negative externalities, valued, by some estimates, at USD 40 billion and expected to increase with strong volume growth in a business-as-usual scenario.
This report, developed in line with the Foundations New Plastics Economy initiative, aims to consolidate todays incremental improvements and fragmented initiatives, create a coordinated innovative approach, increase productivity and efficiency of recycling, and raise environmental responsibility in the plastics industry. The initial areas of focus, as seen by the authors, are: document global targets in the plastics industry, coordinate large-scale pilot projects, mobilize innovations, build a scientific base, and engage stakeholders and policy-makers. As a starting point, packaging design changes alone (e.g. choice of materials, colors, formats) could have a positive impact on recycling economics amounting to USD 90140 per tonne collected.
This publication has been posted in the Roscongress Information and Analytical System on the recommendation of the Roscongress Foundation expert community.
The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.
The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.
Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.
The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 180 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 81 countries worldwide, and 186 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.
The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, Spanish – t.me/RoscongressEsp and Arabic t.me/RosCongressArabic. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation:roscongress.org.