Last Tuesday (Nov. 6, 2018), R20 welcomed key stakeholders – Dow-DuPont, Danone, Nestle, PepsiCo, Veolia, Suez, WBCSD, IUCN, WWF, etc. – to kick off PlastiCircular, a new initiative that aims to create a resilient market for plastic collection and recycling through the implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility for post-consumer packaging in developing countries.
The one-day workshop started with a presentation of PlastiCircular followed by an enriching Q&A session and discussion. Participants shared their experiences as well as valuable insights from their respective industries. Throughout the morning session, other initiatives aiming at tackling plastic pollution were presented with the objective to identify potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration. IUCN’s waste free island initiative, which aims at fostering circular economy in islands and small island developing states to avoid plastic leakages, and UniversalCollect’s non-profit initiative, iCollect, which aims at applying blockchain solutions and token economy plastic waste management in a circular economy.
The afternoon session was dedicated to the presentation of a business case in Sri Lanka that would serve as PlastiCircular’s flagship project and proof of concept. Sri Lanka was ranked #5 in the top plastic leaking countries by the Jambeck study. With support from the government of Sri Lanka and IUCN Sri Lanka for the adoption of an Extended Producer Reponsibility system, the project is expected to contribute to the collection of 30’000 t of PET annually and the production of 21’000 t of rPET flakes to replace virgin polyester used in local textile and apparel industry.
Discussions from the various groupwork organized throughout the day brought strong insights on the roles and responsibilities each stakeholder could play in the PlastiCircular initiative and showed encouraging signs for the future.