NOVA Chemicals will invest nearly $2 million over three years in a global initiative intended to design and implement solutions to reduce marine plastic pollution.
The money will be used to support Project STOP, a co-venture by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ, according to a news release.
John Thayer, senior vice president in NOVA Chemicals’ polyethylene business, said the investment represents meaningful action in addressing the challenge of reducing marine plastic pollution.
Project STOP intends to design and implement solutions to the problem, especially in countries with “high leakage” of plastics into the oceans.
The initiative targets southeast Asia as an area where the problem of marine plastic debris is outpacing the expansion of waste management systems.
“Plastics are too valuable to be thrown away or left as litter,” said Thayer, who said NOVA chose to make the investment as a way to make a significant impact in reducing the problem.
“NOVA Chemicals’ investment demonstrates our commitment to shaping a world that is even better tomorrow than it is today. Plastics are too valuable to be thrown away or left as litter,” he added.
Thayer said that while the products made by NOVA are vital in making lives healthier, easier and safer, it does understand the role in helping facilitate change.
“We understand that being better tomorrow than we are today means working together to prevent plastic debris from reaching our waterways and oceans,” said Thayer.
NOVA’s investment will support the first city partnership in Muncar, a coastal fishing community located in Banyuwangi, Indonesia. With minimal waste services in place, many citizens are forced to dump their waste directly into the environment. Muncar was chosen as the first STOP location due to the seriousness of the challenge, coupled with strong leadership and environmental commitment at national, regency and local levels.
Project STOP is focused on three objectives:
—Zero leakage of waste into the environment by ensuring waste collection services are available to all households and businesses, through increasing pick-up points, sorting facilities and staff
—Increased recycling of plastics by strengthening the supply chain from waste collection to waste management companies.
—Benefits for the local community by creating new jobs in the waste management system and reducing the impacts of mismanaged waste on public health, tourism and fisheries.