U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Launches Sustainable Plastics Initiative
The Foundation’s initiative is designed to help businesses identify sustainable paths to plastics use and harness the full potential of plastics innovation.
We have been steadily reporting on sustainability initiatives undertaken across the plastics supply chain and expect to see further proliferation of such action being taken. Joining in recently is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation which has a new initiative to help realize a more sustainable future for plastics. The Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. It aims to educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.
The new initiative is funded by Brian Sheth and Adria Sheth’s Sangreal Foundation, an Austin-based charitable organization founded by Brian and Adria Sheth. The foundation’s granting and best practices support networks, provide needed funds and resources to allow the most vulnerable of life to thrive. It has a strong focus on the health and biodiversity of our planet, the emotional wellbeing of children, music and arts education, and the support for veterans and their families. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s initiative will identify opportunities to reduce the environmental footprint of plastics, while helping businesses make their plastics value chain more sustainable.
Said Marc DeCourcey, senior v.p. of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “From surgical masks to single-use cups, plastics played a key role in our lives as we confronted the pandemic. Sustainable management of plastics will be critical to the next phase of COVID-19 recovery, and as we work to create a thriving economy that is good for people and the planet. Through this initiative, we look forward to working with the business community to drive significant progress in plastics sustainability and innovation.”
Measures to reduce plastic demand include increased recycling, composting and reuse, but these systems take time to build. Investments in R&D, multi-sector collaboration, and education are needed to solve the plastics challenge. Achieving sustainability in plastics is multi-faceted, and solutions will require new thinking, bold approaches and deep collaborations with a diverse set of stakeholders.
To help address these issues, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hired a sustainability fellow supported by the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, who will focus on researching innovations across the plastics value chain, from materials engineering and industrial design to consumer use and recycling infrastructure. The initiative will convene dialogues with stakeholders ranging from innovators to investors, to explore opportunities and challenges faced in achieving plastics circularity. These dialogues will inform new research and educational materials with an aim to raise awareness among the public and business community, while driving action toward solutions.
Said Brian Sheth, founder of Sheth Sangreal Foundation, “The critical need for businesses all over the country is to identify a set of standard practices to guide safe and sustainable paths to reduce their environmental impact. It is imperative that the full lifecycle of these practices is studied to ensure they don’t lead to additional negative impacts and damage to our planet and its people. These solutions cannot be accomplished by government mandates alone. This initiative, led by science, will bring public and private stakeholders – from Wall Street and government, including local officials, to the world’s largest network of conservation leaders – to the same table to solve this global issue.”
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