Viet Nam NPAP readies for launch, highlights from the Sustainable Development Impact Summit and more

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

If you only have 5 minutes, read this:

  • ICYMI: GPAP has just released its very first annual impact reportTwo years ago, government leaders tasked the World Economic Forum with building a unique collaboration platform that could effectively mobilize a coordinated and accelerated international response to the plastic pollution crisis. In this report, we reflect on the early successes and valuable learnings that have emerged from our work globally and nationally, and call on public, private and civil society leaders around the world to join us in this effort.
  • Watch the replay – a global dialogue on fast-tracking plastic pollution progress: At the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit, we held a flagship virtual meeting on how the global plastic action community can continue to accelerate progress in four key areas as they relate to plastics: behavior change, trade policy, innovative business models, and gender. We were pleased to welcome Minister Frimpong-Boateng of Ghana and Minister Tran Hong Ha of Viet Nam to deliver opening and closing remarks, respectively. Watch the public portion of the broadcast.
  • All systems go for Viet Nam NPAP launch: The Government of Viet Nam has formally approved the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s plan to launch the Viet Nam National Plastic Action Partnership in collaboration with GPAP and WWF-Viet Nam. The launch is planned for late October or early November; we will provide an update on the exact date soon.
  • GPAP and NPAP in the media: The Guardian printed our call to action to support informal sector waste pickers. An op-ed highlighting the Indonesia NPAP’s work ran in Eco-Business, while a piece reflecting on GPAP’s learnings over the past two years appeared in The Jakarta Post. New affiliate member Indorama Ventures shared insights on trends in sustainable packaging on the Forum’s Agenda platform. Members of the GPAP and Ghana NPAP expert advisory committees were highlighted in a Forum roundup of innovators who are changing the game on plastic pollution action.
  • GPAP welcomes four new affiliate members: We’re delighted to introduce DEME Group, Indorama Ventures, Jacobs and Unilever as the four newest members of the global GPAP community, joining fellow affiliate members Gemini Corp, Morgan Stanley, SAP and Suntory Holdings, as well as our founding members.

What happened at SDIS20?

The World Economic Forum’s 2020 Sustainable Development Impact Summit was an unprecedented undertaking for every one of us. A weeklong conference that traditionally took place in New York City every September alongside the United Nations General Assembly meetings, the fully virtual format of the 2020 Summit prompted us to fundamentally reshape the way we planned our sessions, engaged our speakers and participants, and created meaningful and inclusive conversations and partnerships that transcended geographic limitations.

GPAP was created two years ago at the 2018 Sustainable Development Impact Summit by the World Economic Forum in partnership with public, private and civil society leaders who saw the clear imperative for accelerating not only commitments but action to address the plastic pollution crisis. In two short years, we have created three locally-led, locally-driven national partnerships with Indonesia, Ghana, and Viet Nam, and we are amassing our learnings and early successes to replicate these efforts in other countries and regions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the pressure and challenges of plastic pollution in unprecedented ways. The humanitarian and environmental crises that have arisen or increased as a result of the pandemic will require significant time, resources and concerted efforts to address. At SDIS20, we called on our global community – public, private, and civil society partners – to boldly step forward and propel environmental protection, communities’ livelihoods, and plastic pollution action to the top of the recovery agenda.


Readout from the GPAP multilateral session with Ministers

GPAP and the Forum convened a closed-door multilateral meeting with Environment Ministers from several potential partner nations, kickstarting the conversation to begin national-level engagement in these countries. Ambassador Cameron MacKay, Canadian ambassador to Indonesia, joined the session to provide a strong testimonial on how GPAP has partnered with Indonesian stakeholders to create an impact-driven national platform.

Canada is pleased with the concrete achievements of Indonesia’s National Plastic Action Partnership, particularly its ground-breaking baseline, ambitious roadmap, and committed partners. We look forward to continue working together with the NPAP and GPAP to identify investible opportunities and to advance the goals of the Ocean Plastics Charter toward a sustainable and prosperous future free of plastic pollution.

— Ambassador Cameron MacKay, Canada

Readout from the GPAP public session on fast-tracking progress

In collaboration with Consumers Beyond Disposability and the Trade and Economic Interdependence teams at the Forum, we delivered a flagship session on fast-tracking plastic action progress in spite of the challenges of COVID-19. Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation for Ghana, delivered a keynote address on the commitments and progress Ghana has made towards implementing a sustainable plastics management policy and transitioning to a circular economy for plastics.

The session split into four breakout groups, surfacing commitments and calls to action across the following thematic areas:

  1. Partnerships for behaviour change – led by Carlos Manuel Rodriguez Echandi, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
  2. Policy creation and action through trade – led by Malek Sukkar, CEO, Averda
  3. Zero-waste business model innovation – led by Beth Bovis, Partner, Kearney
  4. Gender-inclusive solutions to tackle plastic waste – led by Jenna Jambeck, Professor, University of Georgia

The discussions highlighted this period as a unique opportunity to “reinvent normal” as we emerge into a post-COVID world, where partnerships will be instrumental in galvanizing behavior change both upstream and downstream. Participants stressed an urgent need to accelerate waste prevention solutions, promote a reuse culture and strengthen a sprawling innovation ecosystem for reusable packaging models. They also urged the development of solutions through a lens of inclusivity, particularly as COVID-19 has disproportionately affected women working in waste collection within the informal sector. There were calls for greater diversity in convening stakeholders in decision-making processes. Finally, participants raised that trade can contribute to action on plastic pollution by bringing scale and efficiency for recycling initiatives, yet there is also a need to build up local collection and processing capacity.

Summaries from each breakout discussion can be found in the TopLink library of the session.


Readout from the SAP affiliate session on supporting waste pickers

At an affiliate SDIS session hosted by partner SAP, GPAP helped rally key members of the Ghana NPAP Steering Board – representing the Government of Ghana, Dow, Coca-Cola and local innovation community – to deliver strong cross-sector support for SAP’s announcement of a digital solution to aid 2,000+ waste pickers in Ghana to fast-track their journey to formalization, which has promising potential to eventually scale to other countries. Watch the replay of the session.

Ghana understands the challenges of plastic pollution on health, well-being and the economy. We see first-hand the disastrous impacts of plastic pollution on our marine resources, agriculture and traditional ways of life. However, Ghana also knows the promise of comprehensive plastics management as a vehicle for sustainable development. We are using the power of partnership to transform commitment into action.

— Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ghana

Latest Insights

Fighting back against the plastic pollution crisis amid a pandemic

This op-ed by GPAP Director Kristin Hughes on addressing plastic pollution challenges in a pandemic was published in the Jakarta Post and re-published on the Forum’s Agenda platform.

Here’s how we can support waste pickers through the COVID-19 crisis

A collaboration between GPAP Director Kristin Hughes with Dorcas Ansah, Accra Focal City Coordinator for the NGO WIEGO appeared in the print edition of The Guardian and was re-published on Agenda.

Photo by Dean Saffron courtesy of WIEGO.

Here’s how we can eradicate plastic pollution by 2040

The Indonesia NPAP has already yielded promising results and lessons for other countries in Southeast Asia. This joint piece by Indonesia NPAP Chair Sri Indrastuti Hadiputranto, SYSTEMIQ Associate Arthur Neeteson, and GPAP Knowledge Specialist Madeleine Brandes on the Indonesia NPAP’s progress was published in Eco-Business and re-published on Agenda.

Photo by user prilfish via Flickr Creative Commons.

How sustainability will drive growth in the packaging industry

In an op-ed for Agenda, Yashovardhan Lohia, Chief Sustainability Officer of new GPAP affiliate member Indorama Ventures, explains why the recyclable properties of PET is poised to drive significant growth in the packaging sector.

Report from the third Ghana NPAP Steering Board meeting

The Ghana NPAP Steering Board recently convened for the third time to share updates and agree on next steps for the platform’s progress. Steering Board members approved the draft of a baseline analysis for moving to the next stage – scenario modelling, which will serve as the basis for developing Ghana’s national action roadmap. The Steering Board also directed members of the Technical Committee to divide into smaller working groups dedicated to addressing specific issue areas.

Viet Nam NPAP continues to build Experts Group with diverse in-country representation

The Viet Nam NPAP brought together its Experts Group for a second meeting to review the baseline analysis and scenario model in preparation for the NPAP’s official launch later this year. The group now includes over 70 constituents from national, regional and global entities such as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the Ministry of Construction, WWF-Viet Nam, IHD, Expertise France, IRD, Vietnam National University, the Asian Development Bank, Dow, Nestlé, GAIA and the Zero Waste Alliance, as well as diplomatic missions such as the Governments of The Netherlands, Canada, Norway, Japan and the United States.

Watch the playback: Opportunities and resilience through building Nigeria’s circular economy

GPAP recently joined a panel discussion at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit in a pre-summit event, “Increasing Opportunities and Sustaining Resilience through the Circular Economy,” sharing insights from its work in West Africa as well as the Forum’s broader regional collaboration with African partners. Watch the recording.

A peek into the life of informal waste pickers in Viet Nam during COVID-19

“As the sun rises in Hoà Liên commune in Da Nang city, the day begins for 50-year-old Ms. Nguyen Thi Hien. She starts the day around 7 am and she doesn’t return home for another 12 hours at least.”

The informal sector plays an instrumental role in recycling and waste management in Viet Nam, but remains an under-used and often misunderstood part of the waste value chain. Learn more about how UNDP Viet Nam is working to map and quantify the contributions of informal waste workers.

These 5 innovators are turning the tide on plastic pollution

Although they operate in different parts of the world, are in different stages of growth and development, and are tackling the problem from different perspectives, these five entrepreneurs have one thing in common – a commitment to making a sustainable difference by building successful businesses that leave a lasting legacy.

GPAP is seeking a Gender and Inclusion Advisor

We’re looking to contract a gender and inclusion consultant who can work closely with our global secretariat in Geneva and our national gender advisors in Indonesia, Ghana and Viet Nam in modelling a “gold standard” approach to mainstreaming gender and inclusion across the many different components of plastic pollution action. Please help share the terms of reference with your networks.

Events on the Horizon

18 November | Virtual Conference Side Event

Promoting Ghana’s circular plastics economy

Hosted by the Ghana NPAP at the World Circular Economy Forum. Register for WCEFOnline now and view details on the session, which will begin at 11am GMT time.


TBC  | Virtual Knowledge Exchange

Country Spotlight: Indonesia

Hosted by the Indonesia NPAP


TBC  | Virtual Meeting

Launch of the Indonesia Financing Roadmap

Hosted by the Indonesia NPAP and the Financing Task Force


TBC  | Virtual Knowledge Exchange

Spotlight: Plastic Pollution and Gender

Hosted by GPAP


TBC |  Virtual Workshop

Informal sector workers in Viet Nam
Co-hosted by UNDP Viet Nam, Expertise France and the Viet Nam NPAP


TBC  |  Virtual Conference

Viet Nam National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP) launch
Co-hosted by GPAP and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

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