A new multiyear, science-focused public-private partnership was launched yesterday at the UN General Assembly.
The programme, which is supported by the United States Department of State, aims to build strong, multi-stakeholder cooperation to end plastic pollution globally. Called the End Plastic Pollution International Collaborative (EPPIC), the initiative will be jointly hosted and implemented by IUCN, the Aspen Institute (USA), The Ocean Foundation (USA), Searious Business (NL), with support from the U.S. Department of State.
EPPIC will convene governments, businesses, civil society, philanthropies, and others to accelerate global action on plastic pollution, focusing on science-based solutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic waste. As a public-private partnership, EPPIC will have reach and opportunities that no single philanthropy, NGO, company, or national government could match working on its own, its founders said.
“This new programme aims to provide innovative solutions to enable a just transition to a circular plastic economy. Governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, and the informal sector must work together to solve this crisis, and be bold in our efforts to make positive change,” IUCN Acting Director General, Dr Grethel Aguilar underlined.
EPPIC will build momentum in the lead-up to the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution in November (INC-3) and subsequent INC meetings, bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders to complement actions taken by national governments, and to support an ambitious, inclusive agreement by 2024.
The programme will strive to enable a just transition to circular approaches for plastic by:
- Increasing knowledge on potential upstream, midstream, and end-of-life solutions
- Ensuring policy and regulatory frameworks are supportive of science-based solutions
- Supporting science-based solutions and technologies in target regions.
Willemijn Peeters, CEO and founder of Searious Business explained that partnership structure incorporates the critical role of knowledge-based and scientific expertise to develop strong public-private partnerships to support a range of innovative solutions, needed for systemic and societal change in the target regions.
“The EPPIC approach will build on existing partnerships and networks that have been established across several global regions to avoid duplication of efforts, and enable faster upscaling,” she said.
“At its core, EPPIC aims to align stakeholders for effective action – making sure that policy and regulatory frameworks are supportive of science-based solutions to enable a just transition to circular approaches for plastic,” added Mark J. Spalding, president of The Ocean Foundation.
The Aspen Institute is looking forward to working with public and private sector partners through EPPIC, said its president and CEO, Daniel R. Porterfield. “EPPIC is a crucial mechanism for enhancing collaboration among stakeholders across the plastic value chain and for raising awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution.”
EPPIC is actively seeking organisational members to join the partnership. Contact [email protected] for more information.