Seven new companies in the global plastics industry recently jumped on board to help combat the growth of marine litter that was seen in 2016.

The companies were added to The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, also informally known as the “Joint Declaration”.

New participants include the American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA), the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BPGMEA), the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), the Ghanaian Plastics Manufacturers Association (GPMA), the Myanmar Plastics Industries Association (MPIA), the Indonesian Olefins, Aromatics and Plastics Association (INAPLA), and the Vietnam Plastics Association (VPA).

Speaking at the 27th Global Meeting on Plastics and Sustainability in Hanoi, Vietnam, Steve Russell who is vice president of plastics at the American Chemistry Council said: “We’re excited to welcome each of these new partners, who bring perspectives from countries in Asia and Africa, on types of plastic not previously represented in our Joint Declaration.”

At the meeting, it was also agreed that the group will called the “Global Plastics Alliance.”

Delegates from 17 countries and four continents participated attended the Global Meeting.

“Addressing marine litter issues effectively requires that we bring local, regional and global stakeholders together,” Karl-H. Foerster, executive director of Plastics Europe said. “Broadening our fold helps us find new partners and opportunities to tackle this very serious problem.”

Callum Chen, secretary general of the Asia Plastics Forum said: “Plastic producers from around the world are coming together to keep used plastic out of the environment, and to further improve the sustainability of these energy and resource efficient materials.

“Together, as a united, global industry, we’re involved in hundreds of marine litter prevention programs in all regions of the globe,” he added.  “But there is still much to do. Growing our ranks helps further grow our work.”

At the meeting, the Declaration was been signed by 69 plastics associations from regions across the globe.

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 include education, research, public policy, sharing best practices, plastics recycling/recovery, and plastic pellet containment.

Plastics|SA has been a signatory of the Joint Declaration since 2011 and Packaging SA signed the Declaration in 2015.