AUSTIN, TEXAS – Mayor Steve Adler and the City of Austin have joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). The Global Commitment aims to create “a new normal” for plastic packaging by fundamentally rethinking the way we make, use and reuse plastic materials.
The commitment has been adopted by 290 other organizations including many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and nongovernmental organizations. It was unveiled today at the Our Ocean conference in Bali, Indonesia.
The commitment’s targets are to:
Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reusable packaging models
Innovate to ensure 100 percent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled or composted by 2025
Circulate the plastic produced by significantly increasing the amount of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products
These targets align with Austin’s Zero Waste goal and support existing City efforts to reduce plastic waste, including offering plastic film and foam recycling at the Recycle and Reuse Drop-off Center, accepting rigid plastics #1–7 in curbside recycling, facilitating business-to-business reuse through the Austin Materials Marketplace, and supporting circular economy businesses through the Recycling Economic Development Program.
Austin Resource Recovery recently launched the #IStillBringIt education campaign to encourage Austinites to continue their use of reusable bags, and will continue to encourage voluntary prohibition of single-use plastic products.
“I was proud to sign onto the Global Commitment on behalf of the City of Austin,” said Mayor Adler. “Our great city has a long history of proving that environmental protection and a prosperous economy are not at odds. Austin is excited to join forces with other leaders around the world who are united by a common vision of keeping plastics in the economy and out of the environment.”
Over the past four years, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative has rallied businesses and governments behind a positive vision of a circular economy for plastics. Its 2016 and 2017 New Plastics Economy reports captured worldwide headlines, revealing the financial and environmental costs of waste plastic and pollution.
About the Ellen McArthur Foundation
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The foundation works across key areas including insight and analysis, business and government, learning, systemic initiatives and communications.
About UN Environment
The United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
About the Our Ocean Conference
Hosted by the government of the Republic of Indonesia, the main objective of the Our Ocean Conference is to increase as well as enhance the collaboration and partnership between various ocean stakeholders, which is translated into concrete and actionable commitments. Discussions during the conference will highlight integrated and actionable solutions, which remove barriers between sectors, disciplines and financing streams to comprehensively address the ocean as an inter-connected system and economy.
About Austin Resource Recovery
Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s road map to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to area landfills by 90 percent by 2040 or sooner.
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