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UN Global Plastics Treaty: Industry giants & NGOs unite on plastic accountability tools

‘Enabling Action: How data can advance plastic waste mitigation’ took place at The Westin Hotel, Ottawa, Canada on 22/04/24

OTTAWA, CANADA, April 23, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Leading global corporations and NGOs have united on corporate accountability tools to fight plastic pollution.

This comes as the fourth round of negotiations for a UN Global Plastic Treaty in Ottawa, Canada have begun today.

The group including SAP, EA Earth Action, Systemiq and Delterra gathered in Ottawa to align on plastic data sharing measures and a corporate accountability framework.

Whilst a future UN treaty is likely to set parameters for plastic pollution mitigation at a state level, corporate plastic targets mirroring those of governments are needed to accelerate change.

After nations have conducted three rounds of negotiations, corporates and NGOs alike have urged nations to back ambitious global policies including mandatory disclosure of plastic usage.

A new report from EA Earth Action found there has been almost ten percent rise in plastic waste since 2021 with over one third of plastic being mismanaged at the end of its life; amounting to 69.5 million tonnes this year.

Additional modelling by Systemiq shows that without a comprehensive set of binding global rules, mismanaged plastic volumes would almost double, from 110 Mt in 2019, to 205 Mt by 2040.

The increased data exchange the group proposes will be vital as a future UN Treaty is expected to accelerate plastic disclosure by corporations and enable more effective methods of waste prevention.

Thousands of companies are behind on key steps to tackle plastic pollution in their value chains, according to landmark data released this month by non-profit CDP.

Of the 3,000 companies that disclosed data on plastics through CDP, 70 percent of companies have not yet mapped the impacts of their plastic-related activities on the environment and human health.

CDP highlights that despite ambitious voluntary targets, thousands of companies worldwide struggle to measure and address plastic pollution within their operations, putting them at risk of supply chain disruptions and regulatory consequences.

SAP, EA Earth Action, Systemiq and Delterra are partnering to tackle this issue and enable companies to take informed strategic decisions as well as report on progress for corporate targets.

These include corporate frameworks and data-driven digital platforms for plastic waste mitigation as well as data reporting platforms.

Created by Delterra and Systemiq, Packaging IQ 2.0 is the next evolution of the data-driven platform that helps companies operating in the US, Brazil and Indonesia reduce their plastic waste. Plastic IQ was supported by the Recycling Partnership and the Walmart Foundation.

Packaging IQ 2.0 aims to solve the problems associated with packaging decisions by providing brands and retailers with relevant economic, policy and environmental insights for specific packaging formats and markets.

The Plastic Footprint Network, made up of 50 plus global organisations including WWF and Ellen MacArthur Foundation has worked to establish the methodology for conducting plastic footprint assessment.

Plastic footprint measurement, akin to a carbon footprint, supports global organisations to accurately measure the environmental impact of their plastic use by providing a standardised metric and utilising the Plasteax dataset that provides global insights.

By working alongside the SAP Responsible Design and Production tool, Packaging IQ 2.0, EA Earth Action and the Plastic Footprint Network will be able to build upon existing data and scale globally.

Anna Turrell, Chief Sustainability Officer, Decathlon: “As the world’s largest sporting goods retailer we know what is required of us to align with the 2015 Paris Accords for net-zero, but to date, these defined targets and standardised method of accounting for plastic waste has not been defined.

“To this end, our packaging team has pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic packaging by 2026, as part of our own responsibility as an ethical producer. We are excited to unite with these committed organisations and align with the upcoming Corporate Accountability Framework in development in the Plastic Footprint Network, in the hope that will encourage businesses to do the same.”

Helen Finlay, Head of Global Policy, CDP: "CDP is proud to be working with partners of the Plastic Footprint Network to unite behind the call for a robust mandatory disclosure mechanism within the Global Plastics Treaty. Our landmark plastic disclosure findings demonstrate that companies urgently need data to course-correct and tackle plastic pollution.

"The private sector is increasingly recognizing the power of mandatory disclosure within the Treaty to level the playing field in driving this data: last month, 37 global companies with over US$ 270 in market capitalization signed an open letter calling for mandatory disclosure within the Treaty. Going into INC-4, we hope policymakers will hear these clear signals from the private sector and ensure mandatory disclosure is cemented within the Global Plastics Treaty."

Yoni Shiran, Partner, Packaging IQ 2.0: “Today, brands are facing several obstacles and high costs to transition to more sustainable packaging. We are launching Packaging IQ 2.0 later this year to support brands in making better packaging decisions and allow companies to align across strategies, which we believe is an essential lever for unlocking systems-level change. This is a shared vision across Systemiq, Delterra, Earth Action and SAP - only by working together can companies, governments, NGOs and civil society truly address plastic pollution.

“As we head into the INC-4 negotiations, we hope that Packaging IQ 2.0 can help facilitate the direct action required that aligns with a high-ambition global plastic treaty.”

Jacob Robinson
Higginson Strategy
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