Nigeria signs on to tackle plastic pollution, promising news out of Davos Agenda, and more

Blog   February 1, 2021

JANUARY 2021
« Your monthly briefing on plastic waste and pollution impact around the world »

If you only have 5 minutes, read this:

  • Viet Nam NPAP officially launches: The kickoff of the Viet Nam National Plastic Action Partnership was attended by over 250 leaders in Hanoi and online. Viet Nam has set several ambitious national targets, including a 75% reduction in marine plastic leakage by 2030. Watch the event here.
  • At The Davos Agenda, Nigeria is 4th nation to sign on as NPAP: The Government of Nigeria will join Indonesia, Ghana and Viet Nam in pioneering a system change model for shifting towards a circular economy for plastics. The partnership is expected to officially launch in the coming months.
  • Meet the inaugural cohort of Plastic Action Champions: From Indonesia to Ghana to Peru, these eight young leaders under 30 have sparked palpable change in their communities.
  • Five new members join GPAP at Davos Agenda: Averda, Borealis, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Lonely Whale and The Ocean Cleanup will work with GPAP and the Forum to address plastic waste and pollution.
  • Welcome to Maureen Kwilasa: Maureen is the dynamic new force that has joined GPAP as its Gender Equality and Inclusivity Adviser. Working closely with both GPAP and the NPAP teams in Indonesia, Ghana and Viet Nam, Maureen ensures that the voices and insights of women and girls are strongly integrated across all areas of work and in the transition to a circular plastics economy. A native of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Maureen brings a wealth of experience in facilitating public-private cooperation on gender integration and women’s economic empowerment in countries such as Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Report from The Davos Agenda 2021

For more than 50 years, the World Economic Forum has served as a trusted platform for leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society and academic to convene to address critical issues at the start of the year – and 2021 was no exception. We were honoured to welcome thousands of change-makers this past week to The Davos Agenda, a virtual summit dedicated to helping world leaders choose innovative and bold solutions that can stem the pandemic and drive an inclusive and sustainable recovery.

Particularly high on the agenda was the race to accelerate the circular economy transition as part of the broader economic and environmental recovery. Together with the Circular Economy team at the Forum, we co-hosted a dynamic conversation on the emerging role of circular innovations as a high-potential business opportunity, featuring Chew Shou Zi, Partner and President, International at Xiaomi; Stientje van Veldhoven, Minister for Environment of the Netherlands; Bertrand Camus, CEO of SUEZ; and Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, Co-Founder of the Lagos-based social enterprise Wecyclers. Watch the replay from the event.

Other exciting developments coming out of The Davos Agenda include the launch of the Partnering for Racial Justice in Business Initiative; commitments from over 60 business leaders to a set of Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics; the release of the Net-Zero Challenge: The Supply Chain Opportunity report; the kickoff of the Mission Possible Partnership; and many more. Read the full press release.

GPAP announces new civil society, business partners at Davos Agenda

We’re delighted to officially welcome Averda, Borealis, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Lonely Whale and The Ocean Cleanup to the GPAP community. As affiliate members, these organizations have committed to working closely with our teams at the global and local levels, contributing expertise and resources in areas such as unlocking financing, boosting innovation and promoting inclusivity. Read the announcement.

To learn more about contributing to GPAP’s vision of business, government and civil society working together to accelerate the transition to a circular plastic economy, please send us a message.

It’s official: Nigeria will be the fourth nation to join GPAP

The Government of Nigeria has signed on to launch a National Plastic Action Partnership in 2021. “Nigeria is determined to unleash the full potential of our young generation of innovative and passionate leaders so that we can work together towards a future free of plastic pollution and waste,” says Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Federal Minister of Environment. Echoes Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment of the UK: “I'm delighted to see the Government of Nigeria fast tracking a fantastic national effort against plastic pollution. I look forward to working with them through GPAP to protect the marine environment from the scourge of plastics.” For more, watch CNBC Africa’s interview with GPAP Director Kristin Hughes.

Meet the next generation turning the tide on plastic pollution

GPAP is delighted to introduce the inaugural cohort of Plastic Action Champions – a group of eight leaders under age 30 who have demonstrated tremendous leadership in combatting plastic pollution. In this special role, they will regularly advise on GPAP’s work and help ensure that the perspectives of youth, women and marginalized communities are front and center. A warm welcome to:

Andhyta Firselly Utami, 28, Indonesia

Fionn Ferreira, 20, Ireland

Forbi Perise, 24, Cameroon

Hannah Testa, 18, United States

Inés Yábar, 25, Peru

Joshua Amponsem, 29, Ghana

Melati Wijsen, 20, Indonesia

Swietenia Puspa Lestari, 26, Indonesia

Waste to wages: technology is a game changer in Ghana’s fight against plastic pollution

The race to recycle is gaining momentum in Ghana.

Throughout the West African country, informal workers known as waste pickers clean up communities and natural areas. Their work is vital, but the country has big plans to improve conditions in the industry and modernize. A pilot project between the World Economic Forum, the Global Plastic Action Partnership and technology giant SAP aims to connect more than 2,000 waste pickers with buyers and recyclers, bringing greater transparency and visibility to their vital role in the circular supply chain. Read more.

Latest Insights

How Viet Nam can reduce marine plastics by 75% in the next decade

Equipped with a substantial skilled labour force, a progressively favourable environment for cultivating and supporting innovation, and an increasingly visible role in the global economy – not to mention a best-in-class approach to managing the COVID-19 crisis domestically – Viet Nam is emerging as a leader in plastic action and the circular economy transition.

In this op-ed for the World Economic Forum, GPAP Director Kristin Hughes and WWF-Viet Nam Country Director Van Ngoc Thinh explain how the newly launched Viet Nam National Plastic Action Partnership can help the government reach its ambitious sustainability targets.

Circular Economy Action Agenda shows the way forward

There’s no longer any question of whether we need a circular economy – the evidence is clear. The Circular Economy Action Agenda, a rallying call for action led by the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) and endorsed by over 200 experts globally, is about how.

The Agenda presents a picture of what’s needed to create a circular economy for plastics, textiles, electronics, food, and capital equipment. It will be officially launched at 3pm CET on 4 February in a virtual gathering featuring top leadership from UN Environment, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the governments of The Netherlands and Chile, Philips, Apple, and more. Register now.

First-of-its-kind report charts the way forward for scaling reusable packaging models

A new report from the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners offers a promising path forward for durable and reusable packaging models that would significantly reduce the need for single-use plastics in packaging. “Reusable packaging and cups are just the beginning,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director at Closed Loop Partners. “Refill, resale and rental models that keep materials in circulation are poised to reinvent all kinds of product formats and industries.”

Terra Carta: A charter that puts sustainability at the heart of the private sector

A year after co-launching the Sustainable Markets Initiative with the World Economic Forum at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, HRH The Prince of Wales has unveiled the Terra Carta – a charter that offers the basis of a recovery plan to 2030 that puts nature, people and planet at the heart of global value creation. Endorsed by the CEOs of Unilever, AstraZeneca, EY and more, Terra Carta continues to urgently seek private sector leaders around the world to join this endeavour.

Viet Nam NPAP convenes 70+ experts to kickstart Metrics Task Force

On 28 January, the Viet Nam NPAP was delighted to bring together over 76 experts for the workshop “Plastic Waste Reduction in Viet Nam: Identification of Suitable Methodologies and Metrics for Monitoring National Targets”. Organized in partnership with the EU-BMZ’s Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter project, the workshop served as an opportunity to introduce the municipal plastic waste assessment and monitoring work currently underway, and to exchange insights and ideas for harmonizing methodologies and tools for evaluating plastic waste management performance. For more information, contact vietnam@globalplasticaction.org.

Webinar: Government of Indonesia stresses importance of marine waste management

On 27 January, the Indonesia NPAP supported the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment and GIZ in co-organizing a webinar on addressing sea-based sources of marine litter from commercial vessels and ports. Moderated by NPAP Engagement Specialist Kirana Agustina, the webinar featured speakers such as Dr. Nani Hendiarti, Deputy Minister for Coordinating Environmental Management and Forestry, and EU Commission Policy Officer Rikke Nielsen. Watch the recording or read the press release (both are in Bahasa).

Circularity Gap Report 2021 warns of downward trend in circularity, calls for urgent, transformative action

The lockdowns of 2020 “not only contributed to a sharp decline in emissions, but also accelerated decommissioning of fossil assets”, according to the newly released 2021 Circularity Gap Report. However, the report also points to the stark reality that the circular economy transition has faltered: the world is now only 8.6% circular, compared to 9.1% two years before. The good news? “From governments to citizens, we are now armed with the knowledge that transformational change is doable.”

European Environmental Agency analyses the potential to shift to circular, plastics economy

In a new report, ‘Plastics, the circular economy and Europe’s environment – a priority for action’, the EEA examines the impact and new challenges that the COVID-19 crisis has brought to the European-wide effort to shed disposable plastics and move towards more sustainable modes. It also proposes a path forward: “It is clear that the best way is to shift to a fundamentally sustainable and circular plastics economy, where we use plastics much more wisely and better reuse and recycle them.”

More highlights from the #PlasticAction community

“We can’t tackle the crises of 2020 in isolation.” Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer at GPAP affiliate member Morgan Stanley, on a new type of systems thinking that takes a holistic approach to current challenges.

GPAP Director Kristin Hughes joined the OECD’s 2nd Regional Ocean Policy Dialogue to share lessons from GPAP’s first two years. Watch the recording.

Don’t miss this Fortune interview with Surendra Patawari, Chairman of GPAP affiliate member Gemini Corp, on how the circular giant has supported 20,000 people in his hometown of Momasar, India through the pandemic.

Congratulations to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and The Natural Step Canada on launching the Canada Plastics Pact on 27 January!

Opportunities to work with the Indonesia NPAP now open

The Indonesia National Plastic Action Partnership is currently recruiting for several roles to support the NPAP secretariat team, hosted at World Resources Institute Indonesia in Jakarta.

+ NPAP Manager

+ Community Coordinator

+ Consultant, Gender

Applications close on 20 February. Please help us share these opportunities through your networks.

Events on the Horizon

February 4  |  Virtual Launch

Time to Act: The Circular Economy Action Agenda

Hosted by the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE)

Register now

 

February  |  Virtual Meeting

Ghana Technical Committee meeting

Hosted by the Ghana NPAP

 

February / March  |  Virtual Meeting

First meeting of the Plastic Action Champions

Hosted by GPAP

 

March 2-3  |  Virtual Conference

Japan Regional Roundtable on Circular Economy

Co-hosted by the World Economic Forum and the Ministry of Environment of Japan

View the latest version of the programme agenda here. For more information on participation, please contact CircularForum@weforum.org.

 

March  |  Virtual Launch

Launch of the Indonesia NPAP Behaviour Change Task Force

Hosted by the Indonesia NPAP

 

25-28 May  |  Conference

Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore

Hosted by the World Economic Forum

Engage with us

We’re always on the lookout for new and inspiring content, news and analysis, and upcoming events to feature in this newsletter. Please write to us at plasticaction@weforum.org to share updates that should be featured in the next edition.

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