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A network to tackle plastics

Collaboration between international NGOs coordinates efforts to tackle plastic pollution ahead of global treaty
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Young, happy female worker in bottling factory recycling department

The World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Initiative and international climate action NGO WRAP have joined forces to drive forward global action on plastics through greater knowledge exchange.
The three organisations, which share a common vision for a circular economy for plastics, have each been running national-level initiatives since 2018, which now span more than 20 countries.

By working more closely together, they will be sharing learnings and best practices on a regular basis, helping to accelerate efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

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The Plastics Treaty

The move comes well in advance of the incoming international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution to help prepare the groundwork and ready many more nations for the seismic shift in the way plastic is produced and used – expected when the treaty begins.
Negotiations for the Plastics Treaty started last November; when adopted (by mid-2025), the treaty will create an unprecedented pressure on country-level public and private stakeholders to assess plastics use and design pathways for addressing pollution.

The new knowledge exchange network will bring together individual Plastics Pacts and National Plastic Action Partnerships (NPAP) to share crucial information to support their delivery plans.

‘These three organisations are leading global efforts to create plastics systems that work, and which eliminate plastics pollution.

‘As policymakers work towards designing a global treaty to bring plastics into the circular economy, collaboration of like minded stakeholders is more important than ever.

‘The creation of this new platform allows further exchange of best practices at a local level and the demonstration of real change on the ground, which can be critical to support an ambitious Treaty development.’

CEO, Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Sharing expertise around plastic pollution

By uniting programmes from different organisations in a shared network, those taking action on the ground will get access to best practices from all over the world, through a pre-competitive mindset.

These include private-sector action to meet reduction, reuse and recyclability targets and for national baseline assessment and scenario modelling tools – as well as support for the development of national action plans and financing roadmaps.

Those taking real action to address plastic pollution will be able to share information and expertise, encompassing both business action and policy change, to accelerate their work for the benefit of everyone.

‘Tools and methodologies for building and implementing national action plans to tackle plastic pollution are being deployed across a range of pioneering countries today.

‘Collaboration with our global partners will enable a growing number of countries to tap into the required insights and capabilities to meaningfully engage in the treaty process, promote an ambitious negotiation outcome, and prepare for subsequent implementation.’

Director, Global Plastic Action Partnership; member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum

Regional shifts to a circular economy

The aim of the knowledge exchange network is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy in several geographies.

It has the potential to demonstrate that a system change solution to address plastic pollution is possible and help inform where ambitious global and domestic policy are crucial to advance.
There are currently 13 Plastics Pacts around the world – ANZPAC (Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island), Canada, Chile, Europe, France, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, the UK and the US – and a new Pact in development in Colombia.

In addition, there are National Plastic Action Partnerships, (developed by the World Economic Forum under the GPAP project) in Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Maharashtra (India), Nigeria, Ghana, Ecuador, South Africa and Mexico City (Mexico).
The knowledge exchange network brings together key stakeholders across sectors to implement solutions towards a circular economy for plastics tailored to each geography.

‘WRAP created the world’s first Plastics Pact jointly with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and is working with partners around the world on a variety of Pacts.

‘Bringing our experience together with that of the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation means we can accelerate, expand, and enrich work underway in more than twenty countries. And bring even more countries on board.

‘We know that nations often face the same challenges, so by sharing learnings we can accelerate progress and strengthen the ambitions of the Global Treaty with real action on the ground, in a significant and growing network of countries.’

Interim CEO WRAP

Promoting solutions

To eliminate plastic pollution, the network promotes solutions that eliminate unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging; move from single-use to reuse; ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable; increase the reuse, collection and recycling or composting of plastic packaging and increase recycled content in plastic packaging.
The three organisations expect the network to become a key catalyst for action, and a crucial demonstrator of how transition will happen globally.

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