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G7 innovation challenge to address marine plastic litter

Plastics are one of the most revolutionary inventions of the past century and play an important role in our economy and daily lives. They are used in almost everything from cars, appliances and construction to packaging and food services, because they are low cost, durable and versatile. This Challenge provides an opportunity to spur innovation while promoting both environmental well-being and economic prosperity. The Challenge will also help retain the significant value, resources and energy lost in plastic waste, as well as minimize threats to the environment.

All countries face difficulties in addressing marine plastic pollution. G7 members are well positioned to share their expertise and promote innovations that can be used elsewhere, including among countries that are large sources of marine plastic litter. This G7 challenge is designed to stimulate innovations, raise awareness of how to address marine plastic litter or facilitate much needed improvements to the management of plastic, especially plastic waste, in developing countries. Scalable solutions are needed to foster a more sustainable use of plastic products and reduce plastic waste and marine plastic pollution including technological and social innovations in plastics design and production, use, reuse, as well as management of plastic waste.

G7 members are part of a larger global community committed to addressing marine plastic pollution. We acknowledge the essential role that the private sector, innovators and entrepreneurs play in developing innovative alternatives and solutions for increasing resource efficiency and circular economy in the use of plastics and plastic products by using their expertise, knowledge, and relationships.

‘Innovation challenges’ are a recognized and effective mechanism by which solutions can be developed and implemented in an economically viable way, as well be responsive to countries’ needs and target recipients.

While respecting each participating member’s expertise and reflecting national priorities, G7 members commit to undertake international and/or domestic initiatives, individually or jointly, in support of a common objective to promote innovation in addressing marine plastic pollution by managing plastics more sustainably throughout the whole life-cycle. G7 plastic initiatives will respond to varied individual country needs accordingly. For example, domestic initiatives could focus on plastic design or recycling questions in accordance with national needs, while international efforts could respond to the need for support in improving waste management systems or creation of secondary markets. G7 members commit to sharing information their activities in support of this Challenge through the G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency.

In implementing the Challenge, G7 initiatives will aim to:

The overall objective of the Challenge is to incentivize the development of innovative social or technological solutions for a more sustainable management of plastics throughout their lifecycle in order to increase resource efficiency and to reduce marine plastic pollution including by finding innovative ways to enhance waste management of plastics that may become marine litter. More specific objectives to encourage innovation could include:

Examples of Implementation Mechanisms

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