rePurpose Global, The Ocean Cleanup launch alliance of leading plastic-waste solutionists dedicated to empowering balanced and informed policymaking.
Over 60 major players against plastic pollution have formed the Innovation Alliance for a Global Plastics Treaty (IAGPT). Recognizing that the ongoing United Nations-led treaty-negotiation process represents humanity’s single most important opportunity to alter the trajectory of the global plastic pollution crisis for decades to come, the IAGPT aims to broaden the discussion to include crucial perspectives from those on the front lines tackling plastic waste worldwide.
Millions of tons of plastic waste entering the environment each year, 91 percent of plastic waste is not recycled, and up to 1 million people die from mismanaged waste every year. In response to this crisis, thousands of solutions and technologies have emerged and rapidly scaled their impact in recent years, demonstrating a clear case that indigenous innovations and entrepreneurship-led systems change lie are key to eliminating the issue.
However, this plastic-action ecosystem has largely developed in a vacuum separated from the institutional world; and so far, its voices have been acutely underrepresented in global policymaking — which illustrates the Global North bias often characteristic in policymaking. THE IAGPT, convened by rePurpose Global and The Ocean Cleanup, aims to ensure inclusion of these innovators and those most affected by the crisis — and in doing so, help ensure that the Global Plastics Treaty lives up to its promised potential.
"The first round of treaty negotiations saw plenty of demands being lobbed in every direction, but not a whole lot of solutions. Out of the 1000+ delegates at INC-1, there were hundreds of advocacy groups present — ranging from the World Wildlife Fund to the petrochemical lobby — but barely a handful of delegates representing actual solutions against plastic waste,” said Svanika Balasubramanian, co-founder & CEO at rePurpose Global — a platform helping hundreds of companies and governments take action against plastic waste across the entire value chain.
“It was precisely this glaring lack of representation of solutionists at INC-1 that inspired our two organizations to come together and convene the Innovation Alliance,” said Boyan Slat, founder and CEO at The Ocean Cleanup — the international NGO developing and scaling technologies to rid the oceans of plastic. “We realized that a plastics treaty negotiation that does not actively involve innovators will risk producing a piece of text that sounds promising on paper but doesn't empower those who are actually doing the work on the ground.”
To date, the IAGPT has attracted dozens of inﬂuential organizations active in various aspects of tackling plastic pollution across its entire lifecycle — including reuse & reﬁll systems, alternative materials, philanthropies, recycling AI & technology ﬁrms, startup incubators, pollution cleanup, academic institutions, and waste-worker organizations. Together, the IAGPT — which includes founding members AMP Robotics, CruzFoam, Delterra (previously McKinsey.org), Enviu, Fondation de la Mer, Greyparrot, Mananalu, Ocean Bottle, Recykal, Saahas, SALT, SecondMuse, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, Sway — has raised over $500M to support its endeavors, is active in more than 120 countries, employs tens of thousands of people, and forms the backbone of waste-prevention and -remediation infrastructure globally.
The Innovation Alliance will kickstart its activities in the lead-up to INC-2, the second of ﬁve UN negotiating summits for the Global Plastics Treaty, to be held in Paris later this month. Ahead of the summit, the IAGPT’s endorsing organizations are calling out the need for a pragmatic and inclusive treaty that:
leverages valuable data & insights from the plastic-action innovation ecosystem towards informed policymaking and effective regulation enforcement;
recognizes, safeguards and promotes the inclusion of existing innovations — from source to sea — in global regulatory frameworks; and
eases the complexity around traditional government ﬁnancing and improves access to ﬂexible ﬁnancing for solution-oriented organizations.
For more details on the Alliance’s activities and priorities, visit the IAGPT website and its Vision Statement.