Plastics are fundamental to our everyday life. Yet they are one of the most wasteful examples of our existing linear, take-make-dispose economy. With 8 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean each year, we urgently need to rethink the way we make, use, and reuse plastics. Catalysing change through collaboration in this global material flow will not only create a more effective plastics system, but will also demonstrate the potential for a wider shift from a linear to a circular economy - an economy in which plastics never become waste.



About the initiative

Over the past four years, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative has rallied businesses and governments behind a positive vision of a circular economy for plastics.

Applying the principles of the circular economy, the New Plastics Economy initiative brings together key stakeholders to rethink and redesign the future of plastics, starting with packaging. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with a broad group of leading companies, cities, philanthropists, policymakers, academics, students, NGOs, and citizens.

The New Plastics Economy reports, Rethinking the Future of Plastics and Catalysing Action, captured worldwide headlines and became global references.

The Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is driving action with businesses and governments. In October 2018 it launched, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, uniting over 400 organisations behind one common vision and an ambitious set of 2025 targets to address the plastic waste and pollution crisis at its source.

It has also created the Plastics Pact, a network of national implementation initiatives aligned around a common vision and set of ambitious targets. The UK Plastics Pact, led by WRAP, the Pacte National sur les emballages plastiques in France and Circula El Plástico in Chile are the first national initiatives participating in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network. Other implementation initiatives are set to follow.

The New Plastics Economy initiative is supported by Wendy Schmidt as Lead Philanthropic Partner, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Oak Foundation as Philanthropic Funders. Amcor, Borealis, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, L’Oréal, MARS, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Veolia and Walmart are the initiative’s Core Partners. See all current participants.

Npec Report 2 Asset 2

1. Dialogue Mechanism – Bringing together, for the first time, a group of over 40 leading companies and cities across the global value chain to complete collaborative pioneer projects and inform the other building blocks

2. Global Plastics Protocol – Providing a common target state to innovate towards, to overcome existing fragmentation and enable the creation of effective markets

3. Innovation – Mobilising innovations that can scale globally to redefine what’s possible and create the conditions for a new economy

4. Evidence Base – Building an economic and scientific evidence base to guide improvement and inform the global debate

5. Stakeholder Engagement – Engaging a broad set of stakeholders, including academics, students, governments, NGOs, and industry associations in the design of a better plastics system

Lead Philanthropic Partner

Philanthropic Funders

Core Partners


We have detected that you are using an older browser. Please update to the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge to improve your user experience.

If you are unable to upgrade your browser, please see our Technical FAQ page to get tips on how to improve your user experience.