Since the 1950s, we have produced as much as 9.2 billion tons of plastic worldwide, most of which, unfortunately, was disposed of in landfills or in the oceans. This problem is recognized by governments, business representatives, NGOs, scientists and consumers all over the world, also in Poland. That is why on September 10, following the example of other countries, the Polish Plastics Pact was established as a joint initiative of various stakeholders. The Pact will become part of the most important international environmental initiative in this field, the Plastics Pact network of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Santander Bank Polska is the only representative of the Polish financial sector to join this initiative.
The aim of the Pact is to change the current model of plastic packaging use on the Polish market towards the circular system and achieve six common goals for the members of the Pact by 2025. The initiative was created under the umbrella of the 17 Goals Campaign.
For the last 70 years only 10% of plastics have been recycled globally*. The rest has largely littered the environment as waste. The problem of excessive pollution of the planet with plastics is also noticed by Polish consumers – 59% of them indicate it as one of the five most important environmental challenges***. Responsible use of plastics in packaging is a task and a challenge both for the business that produces and uses them and for consumers who segregate packaging waste after use. Members of the Polish Plastic Pact want to initiate actions aimed at creating a closed-loop for the circulation of plastic packaging and to carry out tasks related to the effective reduction of the use of primary plastics on the Polish market. The action plan until 2025 is ambitious and goes far beyond the regulations currently in force.
We are facing (r)evolution on the plastic packaging market
The Polish Plastics Pact is a platform for cooperation between participants in the plastic packaging value chain. It has been formed by a group of 12 companies: from packaging manufacturers, through companies introducing products in packaging to the market and retail chains, to recyclers and recovery organizations, which jointly account for as much as 1/5 of all plastic packaging on the Polish market***. They are accompanied by a group of industry and non-governmental organizations and scientific institutions.
Only acting together can we face the plastic challenge. We should focus on limiting the use of plastics, work on innovations and strive for the creation of a closed-loop system of plastics circulation. We believe that the involvement of new companies, institutions and administration, as well as real and effective cooperation between all parties can lead to a change in the model of using plastics in Poland. Let us remember that the members of the Pact are companies that have been undertaking numerous activities in this area for years. Their involvement in the Pact is an expression of greater ambition and a decision to initiate joint projects which could not be implemented by individual entities. It is time to act firmly – here and now. The strategic objectives of the Polish Plastics Pact give rise to an ambitious, tangible action plan
Managing Partner of CSR Consulting, initiator of the "17 Goals Campaign
The objectives of the Pact are based on the model of the three most important directions of action, postulated by experts: reduction of the use of plastics, development of innovations and creation of a closed-loop circulation system. The roadmap proposed by the Polish Plastics Pact encompasses six strategic goals which companies operating in Poland and having impact on the plastic packaging market will strive to achieve by the end of 2025.
The first objective is to identify and then eliminate specific, excessive and problematic plastic packaging through redesign, innovation and alternative delivery models.
The second includes a 30% reduction in the use of primary plastics in the packaging that is introduced to the market.
The third goal is a specific target: by 2025 100% of plastic packaging on the Polish market is to be reusable or recyclable.
Further commitments relate to increasing the share of secondary raw materials in plastic packaging to 25%, as well as
Effective support of the packaging collection and recycling system so as to achieve a recycling level of at least 55% on the Polish market.
The last goal is a very important element of the efforts to introduce a new model of plastic circulation and refers to increasing the quality and effectiveness of consumer education in the field of segregation, recycling, reuse and reduction of packaging consumption. The role of consumer education involving representatives of all sectors should be even more strongly emphasized.
The factor that builds the credibility of the Pact is its real impact on closing the loop of the circulation of plastic packaging on the Polish market through gradual achievement of common strategic goals. The tool for verifying the work of the Pact will be an annual report on the progress of the objectives. The announcement of the first report, including the effects of the works for 2020, is planned for the second quarter of 2021.
Polish Pact as part of the global initiative launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
On September 10, the Polish Pact officially joined the global initiative Plastics Pact network of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. It has thus become part of an ambitious programme that has been striving for years for the rational and pro-environmental management of the plastics cycle and the fulfilment of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.
More than 400 companies jointly accounting for nearly 20% of packaging introduced to global markets, governments, non-governmental and industry organisations, research centers and investors – cooperate with the Foundation globally.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation welcomes the announcement of the Polish Plastics Pact, the latest national initiative to join our global Plastics Pact network. We are looking forward to the joint efforts of stakeholders in Poland to bring about real change towards a closed-loop economy for plastics. Together we can create a world in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution
leader of the New Plastics Economy program at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
We have long observed the potential and the intensive development of the plastic packaging sector. Last year we prepared the „PACKAGING REVOLUTION” report, in which we described the clash of megatrends that will shape this market. This year a new and important trend has been added, which is the issue of hygiene and safety related to the global pandemic situation. We know that their impact and the industry’s obligation to adapt to regulatory changes related to the promotion of the closed-loop economy will require investments from Polish packaging companies. These investments will be allocated, among others, to the expansion of production capacity, the search for innovative material solutions or the development of recycling projects. That is why we want to support companies in this development with even greater commitment, offering financing for innovative, pro-environmental investments contributing to the circular system of the use of plastics in Poland
Vice President of Santander Bank Polska responsible for the Business and Corporate Banking Division
Given the pace of climate change and social expectations, it is necessary to take real actions that will have a measurable impact on the reduction of our civilization’s environmental impact. Therefore, in the strategy of responsible banking implemented in Santander Bank Polska, the main pillars include ecology and supporting clients in ecotransformation. The bank is the only representative of the financial sector that has joined the Pact and together with the largest industry organizations, producers of consumer goods and retail chains, it declares its support and active participation in the work on the model of sustainable use of plastics in Poland.
The members of the Polish Pact include such companies as Alpla Polska, Carrefour, the Group of Danone Companies in Poland, Jeronimo Martins Polska, Kaufland Polska Markets, KGL Corporation, Lidl Polska, LPP, Nestlé Polska, Rekopol Packaging Recovery Organization, Santander Bank Polska, Unilever Polska and 20 institutions in the capacity of supporting members, including non-governmental organizations, industry organizations and universities.
The 17 Goals Campaign mobilizes Polish business to take action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and seize the business opportunities of Agenda 2030. The campaign is carried out in a wide-ranging partnership of companies and institutions and is an example of what cross-sectoral cooperation for Agenda 2030 can look like in practice. One of the projects is the establishment of the Polish Plastics Pact. The campaign website is an online repository of knowledge about the Sustainable Development Goals for the Polish businesses: https://kampania17celow.pl/
About Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was established in 2010. The aim of the Foundation is to work for a change of approach, redesigning and building a positive future based on the idea of circular economy, supporting organizations in a faster transition to the model. Fore more information go to http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/
* Plastic Atlas, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Break Free From Plastic, 2019
** Who cares? Who does? Unlocking the opportunities of environmental concern by understanding the ‘green gap’ between those who say they care and those that actually do, GFK, 29.08.2019
*** The data is based on individual company information for 2018. The total weight of plastic packaging in Poland for 2018 is 1,018,915 tons according to the report prepared by Rekopol Packaging Recovery Organization on the basis of annual reports of packaging recovery organizations for 2018 submitted to regional Marshal Offices.
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