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Enerkem commits to taking action on ocean plastics waste

In Canada, Enerkem Inc., a leading waste-to-biofuels and chemicals producer, has announced that it will be exploring opportunities to take action on ocean plastics waste and marine litter. Following the successful commercial launch of the world's first waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, Alberta, the company is seeking to leverage its carbon recycling technology expertise to help solve the ever-growing issues related to ocean plastics waste.

Alex Miles, Director Commercial Development (Europe) Enerkem Inc., here seen speaking about recovering unrecyclable municipal solid waste (MSW) including plastic and converting it into fuels and chemicals at the recently held Advanced Biofuels Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden.

In the announcement, that was made on September 20 at the G7 Environment, Energy and Oceans Ministerial Meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Enerkem said that it will be “exploring opportunities” to take action on ocean plastics waste and marine litter.

The company has engaged discussions with The Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian non-profit organisation which conducts recurring coastal cleanup expeditions, to explore ways in which soiled plastics can be recuperated from oceans to produce low carbon transportation fuels and chemicals by leveraging Enerkem’s “disruptive” carbon recycling technology.

Our breakthrough waste-to-biofuels and chemicals technology is already addressing the issues related to urban waste, including plastics. Through this innovative collaboration, we are committed to looking at concrete local initiatives to turn ocean plastics waste into valuable products, explained Marie-Hélène Labrie, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Communications, Enerkem.

According to the World Economic Forum, around 150 million tonnes of plastics are floating in the world’s oceans, with an additional eight million tonnes entering the water each year. Despite plastics waste reduction and recycling efforts by government, municipalities and communities, the amount of plastics littering the world’s marine environments is expected to triple within a decade.

Under the theme of Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans, and Clean Energy, the G7 Ministerial Meeting underscored the importance of engaging and supporting ways to tackle climate change, improve the health of the world’s oceans and transform the way we produce, transport and use energy.

Tackling global marine litter and plastic pollution was one of the major outcomes highlighted during the G7 Leaders’ Summit, held last June in Charlevoix, Quebec. During the Summit, Canada, France, the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Italy, and the European Union (EU) have agreed to the Oceans Plastics Charter.

Enerkem says that it is endorsing this initiative which aims at moving toward a more resource-efficient and sustainable approach to the management of plastic including increasing capacity to manage plastic as a resource.

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