Companies that produce tons of plastic or that supply the raw materials that make plastics have banded together in an eyebrow-raising alliance. The goal of this alliance: advance solutions that eliminate plastic waste in the environment, especially the oceans.

The Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which consists of some 30 companies, has committed more than $1 billion over the next five years to advance this goal. 

AEPW will develop and bring to scale solutions that should minimize and manage plastic waste. It also intends to promote solutions for used plastics by helping enable a circular economy that leads to the disposal of plastic waste. Members of the alliance represent global companies located throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The alliance is a nonprofit organization comsisting of companies that make, use, sell, process, collect and recycle plastics. It includes firms that are part of the “plastics value chain.”

These companies are chemical and plastic manufacturers, consumer goods companies, retailers and converters and waste management companies. The alliance has been working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which is a founding strategic partner.

AEPW also announced an initial set of projects and collaborations to help end plastic waste. It will also pursue partnerships with cities located in high plastic leakage areas. It will also collaborate with other programs working with cities, such as Project STOP in Indonesia.

“Everyone agrees that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or anywhere in the environment,” said David Taylor, chairman of the AEPW. Taylor is also chairman of the board, president and CEO of Procter & Gamble.

He said plastic waste is a complex and serious global challenge that calls for swift action and strong leadership. This new alliance is the most comprehensive effort yet to end plastic waste in the environment.

“I urge all companies, big and small and from all regions and sectors, to join us.”