Supporting the New Plastics Economy: Action Plan to Reduce Plastic in the World's Oceans

The shocking claim by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in its New Plastics Economy report that "more plastic than fish would be swimming in the world's oceans by 2050" raced from last year's World Economic Forum around the globe. And it appears to have shaken up many people. At this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, 40 industry leaders signed a declaration and committed to recycling more plastic in future. As a supporter of the New Plastics Economy, the Mainz-based family-run Werner & Mertz cheered this step toward sustainable handling of plastics around the world.

In its new report entitled "Catalysing Action," the Ellen MacArthur Foundation proposes an action plan that can reduce the amount of plastic in the oceans. Currently 20 percent of the plastics used can be re-used and 50 percent can be profitably recycled. The plastics in the remaining 30 percent, however, will have to be completely redesigned if the material is to be made suitable for recycling.

"We are pleased that international concerns are moving in a positive direction, that is, they are going beyond a signature or declaration and are truly doing something," said Reinhard Schneider, Werner & Mertz CEO and initiator of the Recyclate Initiative. Schneider's statement about his company's support of the circular economy is quoted in the report. At last year's forum Schneider, a supporter of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and a member of the New Plastics Economy from the start, presented his suggestions on how to reduce plastic in the world's oceans. Werner & Mertz is leading the way with a best-practice example in the Recyclate Initiative and thus far has implemented many of its plans for sustainable action. The company's achievements with high-quality bottles made of recycled plastics not only earn respected prizes such as the recently received German Packaging Award in Gold, but also serve as proof that financial success and ecological success are not mutually exclusive.

Download full New Plastics Economy Report