Project STOP is a new initiative to design, implement and scale circular economy solutions to marine plastic pollution, focused on countries with high leakage of plastics into our ocean.
Globally, the quantity of plastic leaking into the environment has reached a critical level, with more than 8 million tonnes entering our oceans every year¹. By 2050, total ocean plastic could weigh more than ocean fish². Researchers estimates that over half of today’s marine litter originates in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam - and mostly comes from mismanaged plastic waste on land. Economic growth in these countries has increased demand for plastics beyond the capacity of local waste management systems to cope, which is why Project STOP is focusing its first efforts in this region.
In Indonesia, Project STOP works with city governments and other partners to eliminate leakage of plastics into the environment, increase plastics recycling and support the wider system changes required for a circular plastics economy. Our first city partnership was launched in March 2018 in Banyuwangi, East Java, where it focuses on Muncar - a fishing port that suffers from plastic litter in its harbour, on beaches and in rivers.
Project STOP was co-created in 2017 by SYSTEMIQ and Borealis, a global plastics producer and the initial funder of the project (www.borealisgroup.com). The first city partnership was formalised in 2018, in a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Banyuwangi Regency. Project STOP works in collaboration with technical partners and supporters – Veolia, Sustainable Waste Indonesia, Borouge and mtm plastics – and we are growing the list of financial and technical supporters to enable the success and scale-up the project.
The aim of each city partnerships is to enable a transition to a “zero leakage” circular waste management system with a sustainable operating model, higher plastic recycling rates and socioeconomic benefits including improved livelihoods, public health, fisheries and tourism.
To ensure the long-term success of the project, the STOP team will respond to local needs and capabilities, building expertise and know-how. We carry out a detailed design process, together with government and the local community, and then provide sustained technical assistance, implementation support and catalytic funding over multiple years. Partnership with local government and communities ensures that the root causes of the problem are being addressed and the improved system is sustained long after the project is completed.
For further information on Project STOP and the progress of the first city partnership, please stay tuned to www.stopoceanplastics.com.
Press Release Borealis - April 26, 2018: Borealis committed to helping to solve the problem of ocean plastic; Next phase of Project STOP Ocean Plastics announced in Indonesia
Announcement at Our Ocean 2017: Borealis, Borouge, mtm plastics and SYSTEMIQ announce Project STOP - a EUR 4 million initiative to prevent plastic marine debris by accelerating waste management system in South-East Asia. For more information: here
¹ Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean, Jambeck et al 2015
² New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics, Ellen Macarthur Foundation 2016