Officially launched today, the Natural Polymers Group is a new industry voice committed to scaling natural polymersolutions to reduce plastic pollution globally.
The group, representing seven innovators (across the US, Europe and India), has been founded to establish nature-basedmaterials, such as plants and seaweeds, as a viable and mainstream means of replacing plastic.
These innovative materials, created by companies Notpla, Loliware, traceless, Xampla, MarinaTex, Zerocircle and PlantSea, offer a regenerative, circular solution to tackle plastic waste and pollution.
The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee will kick off in Nairobi next week, asrepresentatives come together to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including inthe marine environment.
“Natural polymers occur in nature in large quantities. Apart from traditional uses such as cotton or paper, new, environmentally friendly processes have emerged in recent years, resulting in novel natural plastic substitutes. They use biomass from agricultural residues or algae as a basis, for example,” says Dr.-Ing. Anne Lamp, co-founder and CEO of traceless from Hamburg, “Technically, we are not talking about bioplastics, but about a new, completely natural generation of materials.”
“We have come together to demonstrate the enormous potential for naturally sourced materials to transform industriesreliant on conventional and single-use plastics,” said Pierre Paslier, cofounder of Notpla. “Our group will be the voiceof this emerging industry and accelerate the adoption of natural polymers across many sectors and applications.”
Alexandra French, CEO of Xampla said: “We are proud to launch the Natural Polymers Group to speak with one voice about the potential of natural materials to eliminate plastic. We urge those who are drafting the Treaty to recognise natural polymers as an essential part of a plastic free future.”
The group has set out three policy endorsements ahead of INC-3. This includes the call for a global and clear definitionfor plastic and non-plastic substitutes and an expanded criteria for circularity, that recognises natural polymer’s end oflife benefits.
It also pushes for ambitious policies and incentives to phase out unnecessary plastics such as extended producerresponsibility systems, taxes and levies.
These measures will help scale the production and use of safe, sustainable natural polymer solutions made fromabundant renewable resources.
“Many individual regulations and strategies already aim to avoid plastic and support substitution with natural materials.The global plastics agreement must now anchor this key instrument at a global level through a clear definition of theterm. In this way, the participants in the negotiations can help to significantly reduce the use of plastic overall, createclarity and prevent greenwashing.” said Anne Lamp.
“The global treaty underway now is a pivotal chance to coordinate ambitious action to address the plastic crisis. Weurge policymakers to leverage this opportunity to support natural solutions as the key solution to avoid plastic wasteand pollution altogether, rather than relying solely on recycling or reuse of plastic,” added Pierre Paslier.
The Natural Polymers Group represents an important step in harnessing nature’s solutions to transition to a circulareconomy free of plastic pollution. The coalition invites other innovators, businesses, researchers and NGOs to join its mission.
If you want to learn more about the Natural Polymers Group: www.naturalpolymersgroup.com
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