The American Chemistry Council (ACC) and PlasticsEurope, participants in the recent 5th International Marine Debris Conference (5IMDC) in Honolulu, commend NOAA and UNEP for their leadership and vision in bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to address the important topic of marine debris.

The conference proved to be a successful week of thought-provoking dialogue, and valuable exchanges on innovations and ideas among a wide range of government representatives, industries, marine researchers and NGOs with diverse ideas and views.

At the conference ACC and PlasticsEurope announced that representatives of 47 world plastics organizations from 29 countries have signed a declaration which outlines steps they will take—building on existing research, programs and partnerships—to help create solutions to this global problem. The declaration is based on the premise that all stakeholders have a role to play, and that there is no single “silver bullet” to achieving the shared objective of help solve marine debris in the world’s oceans.

“The 5th International Marine Debris Conference was a tremendous opportunity for us to listen to others, understand their points of view and also look for opportunities to further partner, create new initiatives and new programs to effect change,” said Steve Russell, Vice President, Plastics, American Chemistry Council. “NOAA and UNEP set the tone in saying debris of any shape or form does not belong in the marine environment and we all have a role to play in finding solutions.”

The global plastics industry has committed, through the declaration, to build a framework of worldwide coordination on marine litter programs and efforts and to share best practices.

“Plastic producers take the marine litter issue very seriously and have already developed several partnerships designed to make progress on litter prevention, recycling and recovery. By our declaration, we want to make those programs transportable and implementable around the world” said Wilfried Haensel, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope.

The declaration also recognizes that in many countries, inadequate waste management infrastructure, insufficient recycling, and littering are among the root causes of this worldwide problem. Plastics and plastics products producers will also use both documents as the foundation for action as they engage with world governments, NGOs, researchers, and other stakeholders on this critical issue.

For more information, visit: http://www.marinedebrissolutions.com/global

The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter can be found at: http://www.marinedebrissolutions.com/declaration.

The Honolulu Commitment can be found at: http://www.unep.org/pdf/PressReleases/Honolulu_Commitment-FINAL.pdf