NatureWorks has formalized its engagement with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ( New Plastics Economy initiative by finalizing a three-year partnership agreement.

The foundation’s initiative, which was first elucidated last year in a joint report with the World Economic Forum and analytical support from McKinsey & Company, "The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the Future of Plastics," brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the global plastics system, starting with packaging. The chief tenants of the plan call for decoupling plastics from fossil feedstocks by exploring and adopting renewably sourced feedstocks and drastically reducing leakage of plastics into natural systems, all amidst the broader context of creating an effective after-use plastics economy by improving the economics and uptake of recycling, reuse, and controlled biodegradation for appropriate targeted applications. NatureWorks has engaged with the foundation since 2015 in the development of these concepts and the report.

At the just concluded World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, a new report, "The New Plastics Economy - Catalyzing Action," provides a transition strategy for achieving the goals of the New Plastics Economy initiative. The strategy includes guidelines for new types of packaging, improved technology and processes for reuse, and innovations in material types and characteristics. The goals and strategies outlined in the new report are endorsed by more than 40 leading organizations representing the entire global plastics industry, from chemical manufacturers to consumer goods producers, retailers, city authorities, and recyclers.

“We welcome the partnership of biopolymers producers such as NatureWorks to our New Plastics Economy initiative,” says Rob Opsomer, lead for the Foundation’s initiative. “We look forward to working with NatureWorks and all our participants on ways for the global plastics industry to support new materials innovation, design better packaging, increase recovery rates, and introduce new models for making better use of packaging.”

 “Last year, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation presented at Davos a report that for the first time outlined a comprehensive, truly global perspective on plastics innovation needs at a societal level and included a vision of the business opportunity for industry,” says Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “After working with the foundation for several years and as a technology and market leader in the bioplastics industry, we felt that stepping up to a three-year partnership was essential to support and provide input into the foundation’s game changing vision of the future.”