Solution Building to End Plastic Waste

Across the plastics community, Meridian provides space for crucial cross-sector solution-building. Our partnership with the American Chemistry Council and the 5 Gyres Institute illustrates what can happen when parties look beyond differences to build solutions.

From garbage patches in the world’s oceans to landfills in localities, plastic is leaking into our environment—and often staying there. For several years, Meridian has built coalitions within the plastics community to eliminate this plastic leakage. By facilitating dialogues among committed leaders with differing perspectives, we have fostered unique, off-the-record spaces for meaningful trust- and solution-building.

In August 2019, Meridian Institute, the American Chemistry Council, and the 5 Gyres Institute led an interactive conference engaging influential leaders in the private sector, environmental community, and government to explore the possibility of co-developing solutions to address plastic waste. Participants discussed a wide-range of topics, including projections for future plastic usage, the role of waste pickers, a common definition of single-use plastics, and more. Through this conference, we analyzed underlying issues, encouraged relationship- and trust- building for collaboration, and provided space to formulate ideas for ongoing dialogue to address plastic waste.

I’ve never been in a room with a group of stakeholders like this, and where people are actually talking about these terms and issues constructively.
– A conference participant on Meridian’s unique cross-sectoral approach

A year later, we revisited many of these important topics in a virtual conversation between 5 Gyres and the American Chemistry Council. This candid discussion demonstrates that engagement between different viewpoints can reveal shared perspectives and practical approaches to eliminating plastic waste.