Growing focus on the role of plastics in marine litter has triggered the formation of a new powerhouse global organization of resin producers that will target the problem as well as other sustainability issues.
The World Plastics Council was formed at K2013 in Düsseldorf, Germany at the initiation of PlasticsEurope and the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division. Attending were some 50 industry leaders from all parts of the world, including China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, the Middle East, North and South America and Europe.
It was announced last week that Mosaed Al-Ohali, executive vice president of SABIC Polymers, is the new chairman of the WPC. Other members of the Executive Committee are:
- Li Shousheng, Executive Vice Chairman, Chinese Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation;
- David Morgan, Vice President, Polyethylene, Chevron Phillips Chemical;
- Fernando Musa, CEO, Braskem America; and
- Bob Patel, Executive Vice President, Olefins & Polyolefins, Europe, Asia, International and Technology, LyondellBasell Industries.
The “Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter Progress Report – 2014” provides a roadmap for how the WPC may proceed. The Global Declaration was signed at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2011. It identified six commitments and several specific actions – from educational campaigns to increased plastics recycling – to reduce marine waste.
Creation of the WPC creates a streamlined way to attack the problem on a global scale and bring in major players from the Middle East, South America and Asia. At a recent meeting, the Executive Committee of the WPC said it will recommend that a General Assembly take up work on plastics waste management, sustainability, the safe use of plastics and solutions to marine debris. Historically, the resin producers have been able to commit large sums to fight public issues affecting plastics, such as the ACC advertising campaign called “Plastics Make It Possible”.
The Society of the Plastics Industry signed the declaration, but is not a member of the WPC.