Just half a year ago, my family and I moved to the Netherlands after 12 years in Switzerland and I started a new chapter in my career as Associate Director of Global Sustainability at LyondellBasell. After getting to know the country a little bit better, we decided to move to The Hague, one of the larger cities here. The Hague is spacious, close to LyondellBasell’s Rotterdam offices and most importantly; close to the beach and the ocean.
World Oceans Day symbolizes the need to protect this part of our home and to make sure we put a stop to unmanaged plastic waste entering our waters. LyondellBasell is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), a CEO-led, not-for-profit organization made up of over 45+ global companies across the value-chain, dedicated to help end plastic waste in the environment.
“Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean” is this year’s World Ocean Day theme and aligns with what we are trying to achieve together with AEPW: to prevent over 3 million metric tons of plastic waste entering the environment per year by 2025.
This bold ambition requires support and innovation across the value chain. We are committed to helping eliminate plastic waste in the environment and engaging in collaborative efforts across the value chain to direct action where it is needed most. Building on our history of innovation, we will continue to advance solutions to help address these critical issues.
AEPW is targeting plastic pollution where it begins. A significant amount of river-based plastic comes from just ten rivers, eight being in Asia, and over half of land-based plastic comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. It is more than just trying to stop plastic waste from entering the environment. We need to think differently about how we design products, use and collect them, and how we bring new technologies to market.
A great example is the End Plastic Waste Innovation Platform, which supports entrepreneurs as they develop solutions to collecting, managing, and sorting plastic waste, recycling and processing technologies, and creating value from post-consumer plastics. Ten start-up businesses from the Americas and eleven from Europe have been selected, and the Asia-Paciﬁc region is underway. AEPW has committed to invest over $1.5 billion in projects in five years from November 2018 and expects funds to unlock up to $8 billion worth of investments that will further accelerate other actions to end plastic waste in the environment.
Together, we are making a difference.
Andrea Brown, Associate Director of Global Sustainability