- The Dow Chemical Co. announced on Friday a commitment to spend $2.8 million over the next two years to address marine pollution. The announcement was made at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference held in Washington, DC.
- Half of the committed money will be spent on waste management pilot programs and educational programs to combat and prevent litter. The other half of the money will go toward research being done by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to develop new recycling and reuse technologies, as reported by Midland Daily News.
- Dow is already an active advocate for ocean conservancy, having worked closely with other companies and organizations to develop solutions toward combating marine pollution. Dow has also singed the Declaration of the Global Plastics Association for Solutions on Marine Debris.
While Dow's commitment is sure to have a significant impact on the reduction of marine pollution, it was not the only announcement that made waves at Our Ocean. Many countries including Germany, Lebanon, Norway and Panama announced monetary commitments collectively amounting to over $1 billion toward cleaning up the world's oceans, while other countries such as France and Morocco announced efforts to ban certain plastic products such as single-use bags. However Dow Chemical was one of the only for-profit companies offering such a commitment, causing it to stand out among the others.
"Plastics offer many advancements that improve our everyday life — from packaging that helps reduce global food waste to life-saving innovations in the medical field," said Diego Donoso, business president of Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, as reported in Midland Daily News. "Yet, not all plastics waste ends up where it should and that is why we are working with the private sector, industry trade associations, academia and NGOs to develop targeted global actions that will mitigate or even stop the amount of marine debris polluting our ocean."
Dow Chemical has been very active in efforts to redesign plastic packaging to fit better into a circular economy and prevent waste. "Achieving more sustainable operations is like balancing a scale," said Dow Global Sustainability Leader Jeff Wooster to Waste Dive in May. He noted that with more sustainable operations, energy recovery and consumer behavior change can both be well-achieved.