New Plastics Economy – Asia
In alignment with The New Plastics Economy, we are setting very ambitious targets to ensure a sustainable plastics packaging and fashion industry is developed across the Asian region.
We need to be ambitious. We need to think big and be bold about our aspirations for a sustainable future for all.
Other supporters of the New Plastics Economy, WRAP UK and APCO Australia, have set similar targets for their packaging goals. In a separate initiative the EU has also set targets for 2030. As Asia has 50%+ of the total population and is the economic growth engine of the world, for Asia the New Plastics Economy required expanding to include R&D.
Considering the region’s contribution to plastic manufacturing, in both packaging and textiles, plus the amount of waste in the oceans and environment coming from Asia we need to set substantial objectives.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2018, industry leaders agreed on a Global Plastics Protocol setting commonly agreed definitions and industry standards on what materials are put into the marketplace, to ensure packaging is compatible with existing and cost-effective recycling infrastructures.
100% of Plastic Packaging to be Recyclable, Compostable or Reusable
Here in Asia we cannot work in isolation from global trends and the New Plastics Economy is now being embraced by multi-national company’s, industry associations and respectable NGO’s. A significant percentage of consumer goods, including synthetic textiles, is manufactured and packaged in Asia. In India alone there are 25,000+ plastic manufacturers employing more than three million people. We need to make a massive push for change and our target gives us a tangible goal to work towards.
Eliminate or Redesign Single-Use Plastic Packaging, Innovate New Sales Systems
Single-use plastic packaging, especially small sachets, has provided millions of poor people around the world the ability to purchase products they may not be able to afford. We have the technology to make these single-use plastics recyclable, our only requirements now is how do we collect them? Or rather how do we convince people to responsibly dispose of them within a cost-efficient collection system?
Eliminating single-use plastic packaging will require replacing it with innovative product delivery systems and convincing sales models for businesses to make the transition.
Increase Recycled Content to 50% of All Plastic Packaging
An efficient and convenient collection systems will make this feasible. We have the technology, the processing facilities and industry commitment alongside consumers preferring more sustainable options and choices.
Increase the Collection and Reprocessing of Plastic Packaging to 75%
Yes its a challenge. Setting up in the infrastructure is the easy part. Yet we believe people will respond if the infrastructure works efficiently and conveniently with reprocessing facilities producing new products from waste. Most people like to feel good about the efforts they make and knowing their recycling will end up being reprocessed into new products as part of their country’s initiative for resources security and sustainability is great incentive.
A Voluntary Phase-Out of Microbeads in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
Although many international brands have or are in the process of phasing out microbeads, there are thousands of locally produced products that still contain these unnecessary harmful ingredients. A review from Asian government to regulate microbeads as an additive will be a good step in the right direction. Consumers can also vote through their choice of product. To learn more or find out which products contain microbeads refer to this UN Environment Program sponsored website “Beat the Microbead“.
Click image or ‘Microbeads: Face to Fish‘ to expand
A Commitment to R&D, with Annual Targets, to Address Other Plastic Leakages
It is crucial that Asian company’s, innovators, universities and entrepreneurs take their place alongside like-minded individuals and organisations across the globe.
With a commitment to Asian-centric R&D programs, especially in the fields of engineering, chemicals, energy, Circular Economy entrepreneurship, Circular design, green tech, IoT and manufacturing we build up local scientific and intellectual capacity which, in turn, contributes to a sustainable future for all.
So far we have only focused on plastic packaging, however a lot of reprocessed plastic waste will end up as textiles which will leak microfibers into the environment. China, India and Bangladesh manufacture most of the world’s textiles and produce clothes for consumers all over the world. Other Asian countries are not far behind. Including R&D into the New Plastics Economy – Asia as part of a sustainable plastics and fashion industry will foster solutions specific to the socio-economic landscape of this region.