Mitsui Chemicals Joins New Global Alliance Formed to Take on Plastic Waste in the Environment


Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (Tokyo: 4183; President & CEO: Tsutomu Tannowa) joined an alliance of global companies from the plastics and consumer goods value chain today launched a new organization to advance solutions to eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially in the ocean.

Alliance to End Plastic Waste

Mitsui Chemicals is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. 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 solutions that will minimize and manage plastic waste and promote solutions for 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.

Plastics bring the convenience and benefits for our society. While advancing the function and performance of products and services, plastics contribute to solving many social issues such as reducing food loss, improving logistics and enhancing energy efficiency. On the other hand, leaking to the ocean by inappropriate management of plastic waste has become a major concern around the world, and it has become a social issue beyond the chemical industry.

”I think that the biggest challenge with the management of plastic waste is how to collect and reprocess it. Japan’s chemical industry promotes 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) activities for plastic waste management, and I believe that such Japanese methods will be a model that can contribute to the solution. Then there is the Japan Initiative for Marine Environment (JaIME), which was established in September 2018 and will see the chemical industry come together and take the initiative here. The Mitsui Chemicals Group looks forward to working in cooperation with AEPW members to develop and propose new solutions for plastic waste eradication.", said Tsutomu Tannowa.

MCI Group is pursuing a transformation of its business model to realize "Cohesive society that is in harmony with the environment" and "Health and happiness in an aging society". Having established a Corporate Sustainability Division in April 2018, Mitsui Chemicals Group is actively incorporating the idea of sustainability. In addition, Mitsui Chemicals has introduced the Blue Value™ represents value that helps the environment, and the Rose Value™ represents value that helps improve quality of life (QOL), with the aim of improving the value of its products and services. These initiatives are being used in an endeavor to give visibility to the social value improvements made through Mitsui Chemicals’ business activities.

The Alliance is a not-for-profit organization 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 today 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 which 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 that 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 organizations already involved in similar types of data collection.
  • Creating a capacity building collaboration with intergovernmental organizations 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 localized 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 mobilize action; and,
  • Clean up of 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.

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, U.S.A., 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).