PENANG, MALAYSIA (December 14, 2017) – Representatives from the Global Plastics Alliance (GPA) – which currently includes participation from 19 countries – met in Penang, Malaysia from December 13-15 to accelerate and advance The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, also known as the “Joint Declaration.” At the meeting – hosted by the Malaysian Plastic Manufacturers Association – the GPA welcomed new participant Acoplasticos (Colombia), the second association from South America. Other GPA participants came from Brazil, Canada, Europe, Ghana, India, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, and the United States.
“Plastic makers from across the globe are coming together to keep used plastic out of the environment, and to further improve the sustainability of these energy and resource efficient materials. The continued growth of the GPA proves that this industry is committed to providing solutions to ensure a more sustainable future” said Callum Chen, Secretary-General, Asia Plastics Forum. “As a united group we are leading the deployment of hundreds of marine litter prevention programs in all regions of the globe,” Chen added. “There is much to do, and we are building momentum.”
“We’re excited to welcome our colleagues from Columbia, which both continue the momentum of growth established in recent years, and deepens representation in the Americas” said Steve Russell, Vice President, American Chemistry Council, during the 28th annual GPA meeting.”
“Having the perspectives of so many countries – across four continents – helps us more quickly identify and advance effective solutions and strategies to improving sustainability,” said Karl Foerster, Executive Director, PlasticsEurope. “Marine litter is a complex problem that requires creative thinking and a holistic approach, as there will be no single solution.”
Discussion at the GPA included a focus on how GPA members can contribute to the consensus recommendation from the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly which identified waste management as the priority to addressing plastic marine debris. This included updating the Global Declaration that was launched in March 2011 at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference.
Today, the Declaration has been signed by 70 plastics associations from regions across the globe. Recognizing their important role in fighting marine litter, these plastics associations have launched and are supporting projects in six key areas aimed at contributing to sustainable solutions. The six focus areas of the Global Declaration are education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment.
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