SABIC is a founding member of the Alliance since its inception in 2018 and in his members message Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, reflected: “At SABIC, we believe plastic can be part of a sustainable future and we are taking action, working towards the collective aim of a circular plastics economy. We are collaborating with partners to find innovative solutions and new ways to design, produce, use, and recycle plastic and close the loop on plastic waste.
He added: “This year has also seen SABIC working with customers and partners to find new ways to recover and recycle ocean and ocean-bound plastic waste, which have found their way into our environment and waterways to create new valuable plastic materials. In doing so, we are not only helping to address the issue of end-of-life plastics, but these programmes also contribute to the social and economic growth in those local communities.”
During the year, the Alliance grew its portfolio of projects by about 80% and now covers Europe and the Americas as well. It now also includes investments and partnerships to develop and test-bed technologies that will help improve waste sorting—through the HolyGrail 2.0 Digital Watermarks Initiative—or improve the value of difficult-to-recycle plastics.
“Despite the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we set in motion efforts to scale for impact and we are beginning to see early results,” said Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance. “The Alliance remains fully committed to our ambition of diverting millions of tons of plastic waste from the environment.”
He added: Our confidence is grounded on a clear strategy guiding our work—to develop, deploy and de-risk solutions at the seed stage and to close gaps in the plastics circular economy. This year, we have begun demonstrating that with our investment of time, financial and technical resources, the approach works.”
Looking ahead, the Alliance will focus on scaling solutions to close 6 gaps that stand in the way of achieving plastics circularity, including:
- Improving the quality of recycled materials,
- Securing enough plastic recycling,
- Ensuring that recycled content is affordable when compared with virgin plastic materials,
- Designing plastic products and supply chains that fit the principles of a circular economy,
- Providing reliable data at all points of the global plastics value chain, and
- Aligning various points of view about plastic waste management to make progress in plastic circularity.
The progress report describes the Alliance’s work across its four strategic pillars—infrastructure, innovation, education & engagement, and cleanup, across different regions. The “Our strategy in action” section describes how the Alliance supports local partners and de-risks projects in communities across the world.