Session Chair: Stewart Harris, American Chemistry Council

This session looks at Global Plastics Alliance progress. Established in 2011 at the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference, the Global Plastics Alliance has grown to 70 associations in 34 countries, and implemented over 260 projects to address marine debris under the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter.

Established in 2011 at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference, the Global Plastics Alliance (GPA) has grown to 70 associations in 34 countries. As of the 2016 Progress Report, the GPA implemented 260 projects to address marine debris under the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter.

Speakers from associations in the Philippines, South Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States will discuss ongoing efforts to address marine debris under the six focus areas of the Global Declaration. The session will provide information on actions by the plastics industry to address marine debris by, 1. Raising Awareness, 2. Supporting Research, 3. Promoting Best Policies, 4. Spreading Knowledge, 5. Enhancing Recovery, and 6. Preventing Pellet Losses.



  • –      Steve Russell, American Chemistry Council
  • –      Crispian Lao, Philippine Plastic Industry Association
  • –      Duow Steyn, Plastics South Africa
  • –      Karl Forester, Plastics Europe, Belgium
  • –      Steve Sikra, Proctor and Gamble
  • –      Alexander Turra, University of São Paulo (USP)




Combating Marine Debris, The Philippine Experience

Authors: Crispian Lao (Philippine Plastics Industry Association, Philippines)

In 2015, Jambeck, et. al. ranked The Philippines as the no. 3 source of Global Marine Plastic Pollution. The Ocean Conservancy reports entitled Stemming the Tide and The Next Wave pointed to waste management from land source as the main source and highlighted the need to finance solid waste management solutions.

Waste Generation data adopted by the Philippine National Solid Waste Management Commission revealed that the country generates over 40,000 tons of waste per day. 36% of barangay units established Material Recovery Facilities and 30% of the population has access to Sanitary Landfills as mandated under The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

As early as 2006, the Philippine Plastics Industry Association (PPIA) initiated programs aimed at reducing plastic waste to the environment through a JICA funded program on the recovery and collection of plastic bags from different barangays for recycling through an exchange system. PPIA also partnered with the Department of Science and Technology for the local development of small scale technology solutions (e.g. Plastic Melting Oven, Mixed Waste Plastic to Asphalt Roads). The talk with discuss these and other programs supported by PPIA, including the recently established Philippine Alliance for Recycling and Material Sustainability (PARMS), which brings together stakeholders in the recycling value chain, including manufacturers, industry groups, retail groups, waste consolidators and haulers, recyclers, and non-government and government entities to develop and implement a holistic and comprehensive program to increase resource recovery and reduce landfill dependence towards zero waste.


Plastics SA – Taking Action on Plastics Marine Debris

Authors: Douw Steyn (Plastics SA, South Africa)

Plastics SA became a signatory to the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Debris in 2011 and represents the plastics industry in South Africa and provides strategic leadership to the industry on sustainability issues. Most plastics on the South African beaches and ocean are from land-based sources. Three “River Catchment Projects” has been identified: eThekweni River Catchment (Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal); Zwartkop River Catchment (Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape); Black River Catchment (Cape Town, Western Cape). The following activities were undertaken to address marine litter. (1) Waste Management and Recycling: Research is conducted to determine the state of waste management and recycling and the opportunities to establish plastics recovery and recycling infrastructure. Training is provided to plastics collectors, recyclers and waste managers. (2) Education: Schools and communities in the river catchment areas are trained on plastics and recycling and provided with education materials. Marine organizations such as Marine and Coastal Educators Network are supported with workshops. AS a founding member and supporter of the African Marine Waste Network, Plastics SA is supporting the development of a “Best Practice Guideline for Africa” on marine pollution. (3) Litter booms: To prevent plastics entering the ocean, extensive research are undertaken to develop the most suitable litter boom to catch plastics floating downstream, and then be collected. (4) Clean-up campaigns: Clean-up events are supported such as Water Week, World Environment Day, World Oceans Day, Clean-up and Recycle SA Week, Recycling Day and International Coastal Clean-up Day. Sport events such a Two Ocean Marathon and Cape Argus Cycle Race in Cape Town are supported with plastics waste management.


 ‘Brazilian Plastics Sectoral Forum – For a Clean Ocean’ – achievements and challenges

Authors: Alexander Turra (Oceanographic Institute of University of São Paulo (IOUSP), Brazil)

The Brazilian plastic industry, represented by Plastivida – The Socio-environmental Institute of Plastics, in partnership with the Oceanographic Institute of University of São Paulo (IOUSP) has been acting in order to engage the private sector to combat marine litter. In 2012, after becoming a signatory of the ‘Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine, Plastivida signed a partnership with IOUSP in order to carry out a technical-scientific program on the issue. A great deal of scientific studies and activities has been carried out in Brazil. In addition, a series of activities and meetings allowed the internalization of the environmental issues related to marine litter. The launching of the ‘Brazilian Plastics Sectoral Forum – For a Clean Ocean’ in June 2016 is a milestone in this process, representing the result of a social learning process that is changing the approach of the sector from a reactive to a proactive manner. This resulted in an organized and structured integration within the sector and with different publics – population, industries and government. The Forum gathers companies, associations and unions and has been acting with the aim to contribute to change the current marine pollution scenario. The Forum created an online platform ( that has been grouping information regarding environmental education, prevention, collection and recycling, becoming a useful tool for the sector actions. Among the challenges, the Forum is planning to adapt and implement the “Zero Pellet” program and take part of the Brazilian National Plan to Combat Marine Litter.