Plastic waste in the value chain to get $1.5bn US investment

An alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain today launched a new organisation to advance the elimination plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.
The cross-value chain Alliance to End Plastic Waste(AEPW), currently made up of nearly thirty member companies, has committed over $1.0 billion with the goal of investing $1.5 billion over the next five years to help end plastic waste in the environment. The alliance will develop and bring to scale activities that will minimise and manage plastic waste and promote disposal of used plastics by helping to enable a circular economy. The alliance membership represents global companies and located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
“Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment. This is a complex and serious global challenge that calls for swift action and strong leadership. This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort to date to end plastic waste in the environment,” said David Taylor, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble, and chairman of the AEPW. “I urge all companies, big and small and from all regions and sectors, to join us,” he added.
“History has shown us that collective action and partnerships between industry, governments and NGOs can deliver innovative solutions to a global challenge like this,” said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell, and a vice chairman of the AEPW. “The issue of plastic waste is seen and felt all over the world. It must be addressed and we believe the time for action is now.”
The alliance is a not-for-profit organisation that includes companies that make, use, sell, process, collect, and recycle plastics. This includes chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers, converters, and waste management companies, also known as the plastics value chain. The alliance has been working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as a founding strategic partner. The alliance has also announced an initial set of projects and collaborations that reflect a range of solutions to help end plastic waste:

  • Partnering with cities to design integrated waste management systems in large urban areas where infrastructure is lacking, especially those along rivers that transport vast amounts of unmanaged plastic waste from land to the ocean. This work will include engaging local governments and stakeholders, and generate economically sustainable and replicable models that can be applied across multiple cities and regions. The alliance will pursue partnerships with cities located in high plastic leakage areas. The alliance will also be looking to collaborate with other programs working with cities, such as Project STOP, which is working in Indonesia.
  • Funding The Incubator Network by Circulate Capital to develop and promote technologies, business models and entrepreneurs who prevent ocean plastic waste and improve waste management and recycling, with the intention of creating a pipeline of projects for investment, with an initial focus on Southeast Asia.
  • Developing an open-source, science-based global information project to support waste management projects globally with reliable data collection, metrics, standards, and methodologies to help governments, companies, and investors focus on and accelerate actions to stop plastic waste from entering the environment. The alliance will explore opportunities to partner with leading academic institutions and other organisations already involved in similar types of data collection.
  • Creating a capacity-building collaboration with intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations to conduct joint workshops and trainings for government officials and community-based leaders to help them identify and pursue the most effective and locally-relevant solutions in the highest priority areas.
  • Supporting Renew Oceans to aid localised investment and engagement. The program is designed to capture plastic waste before it reaches the ocean from the ten major rivers shown to carry the vast majority of land-based waste to the ocean. The initial work will support the Renew Ganga project, which has also received support from the National Geographic Society

In the months ahead, the alliance will make additional investments and drive progress in four key areas:

  • Infrastructure development to collect and manage waste and increase recycling.
  • Innovation to advance and scale new technologies that make recycling and recovering plastics easier and create value from all post-use plastics.
  • Education and engagement of governments, businesses, and communities to mobilise action.
  • Cleaning up concentrated areas of plastic waste already in the environment, particularly the major conduits of waste, like rivers, that carry land-based plastic waste to the sea.

“Success will require collaboration and coordinated efforts across many sectors – some that create near-term progress and others that require major investments with longer timelines. Addressing plastic waste in the environment and developing a circular economy of plastics requires the participation of everyone across the entire value chain and the long term commitment of businesses, governments, and communities. No one country, company or community can solve this on their own,” said Veolia CEO Antoine Frerot, a vice chairman of the AEPW.
Research from the Ocean Conservancy shows that nearly 80 per cent of plastic waste in the ocean begins as litter on land, the vast majority of which travels to the sea by rivers. In fact, one study estimates that over 90 per cent of river-borne plastic in the ocean comes from 10 major rivers around the world – eight in Asia and two in Africa. Sixty per cent of plastic waste in the ocean can be sourced to five countries in Southeast Asia.
“Whilst our effort will be global, the alliance can have the greatest impact on the problem by focusing on the parts of the world where the challenge is greatest; and by sharing solutions and best practices so that these efforts can be amplified and scaled-up around the world”, said Peter Bakker, president and CEO of World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
The following companies are the founding members of the alliance: BASF, Berry Global, Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Clariant, Covestro, Dow, DSM, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics Corporation USA, Henkel, LyondellBasell, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, Mitsui Chemicals, NOVA Chemicals, OxyChem, PolyOne, Procter & Gamble, Reliance Industries, SABIC, Sasol, SUEZ, Shell, SCG Chemicals, Sumitomo Chemical, Total, Veolia, and Versalis (Eni).
 

World trade momentum weaker but growing, says DHL

According to the latest DHL Global Trade Barometer (GTB), global trade will continue to grow over the next three months.
With an overall index of 61 points, the GTB’s analysis of international air and containerised ocean trade flows indicates that the development of the previous quarters will continue: Indices for all seven countries that constitute the GTB index are above 50 points, which corresponds to a positive growth forecast according to the underlying methodology.
READ MORE: DHL to sell off Chinese supply chain business
The pace of growth, however, is further slowing in all index countries.
This deceleration will be particularly strong in Asia (except for China): Index values for India, Japan and South Korea have dropped by eight, six and five points respectively compared to the previous release of the GTB in September.
With an overall index of 75 points, India, however, continues to be the country with the strongest trade growth forecast.
“The DHL Global Trade Barometer clearly shows that the state of global trade remains solid. Both, air and ocean trade, continue to grow around the world. However, given the smoldering trade conflicts, especially between the US and China, and economists’ expectations that the global economy could cool down, it is not entirely surprising that trade momentum has weakened slightly”, Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight said.
Read more:

 

DHL launches AI-backed global trade indicator

Global logistics company DHL has launched a new tool to indicate current and future development of global trade, the Global Trade Barometer.
The Barometer, developed in partnership with professional services company Accenture, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse logistics data to provide a forecast of future trade.
“DHL has both a deep understanding of the driving forces behind global data volumes and the industry expertise to analyse and interpret market data,” said Tim Scharwath, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding – Freight. “The DHL Global Trade Barometer shows impressively how digitalisation – with the use of Big Data and predictive analytics – opens up entirely new opportunities.”
The Barometer examines containerised ocean freight data for import and export of commodities that serve as the basis for further industrial production, for example brand labels for clothing, bumpers for cars and touchscreens for mobile phones. Through AI and other statistical analysis processes, the data is compressed to a single value for global trade, and one each for the seven countries examined, who make up more than 75 per cent of world trade.
Results for January 2018 suggest continued growth in global trade over the next three months.
“The insights from the DHL Global Trade Barometer will help DHL customers to optimise their business processes, for example providing guidance for investment and supply-chain decisions,” the company said in a statement. “DHL itself will leverage the indicator to fine-tune is own resource planning for its international logistics operations.”
The company added that it anticipates the tool will have high significance beyond logistics, due to its suitability for use by banks, associations and economic research institutes.
“In a world characterised by volatility and uncertainty, we are contributing to greater transparency and predictability – for the benefit of our customers, our business and society,” said Scharwath.

German logistics group to enter Australian market

German logistics specialist the Rhenus Group signed an agreement to purchase Australian freight forwarding company O’Brien Customs and Forwarding Pty Ltd on 16 June, as part of its expansion strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Melbourne-headquartered O’Brien family business handles air and sea freight consignments and provides customs and warehouse services. It was initially founded as a customs clearance firm in 1996 and has been offering air and sea freight transportation in addition to customs services for seven years.
The Rhenus Group is planning to expand the firm’s current operations in future with its network and its services, including domestic traffic, support for imports/exports, buyers’ consolidation as well as warehouse and integrated logistics solutions.
“The takeover of O’Brien and the founding of the national company to be known as Rhenus Logistics Australia enable us to cover the whole of Australia with our services,” said Jan Harnisch, COO, Ocean Freight – Asia, Rhenus. “As a result of the acquisition, we’re gaining experienced employees with local expertise for the global operations of the Air & Ocean business unit at Rhenus Freight Logistics too.”
 
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