Participants including the world’s leading companies have agreed to use safer methods of plastic production and consumption because plastic waste is threatening the global ecology, particularly the world’s oceans.
“The New Plastics Economy” Initiative was launched by the world’s leading companies a few days prior to the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump, who is skeptical about environmental warnings.
In response to urging from the Ellen MarArthur Foundation, multinational companies like Unilever and Procter&Gamble have promised to increase recycling and reduce their production and use of plastic products. Unilever promised to ensure that all of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Other companies that support this initiative include Coca Cola, Danone, and Dow Chemical.
The World Economic Forum warned that without prompt actions by 2050 our polluted oceans will have more plastic waste than fish. Currently, about 20% of plastic products are reusable and about 50% are recyclable at low cost. But without fundamental redesign and innovation, about 30% of plastic packaging will never be reused or recycled, which means about 10 billion plastic bags will be buried, thrown into the sea or discarded every year.
Under the theme “Responsive and Responsible leadership”, the Davos Forum intends to support global governance in coping with challenges in the new context. It gathers major world political leaders, the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, as well as the world’s leading companies, economists, and scholars.
Improving global governance, coping with security crises, promoting global economic growth, and developing industrial systems and new business models in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution will be the highlights of the forum’s 300 discussions.