The 2016 Dream Fund award-winning project New Plastics Economy is set to kick off this week, with an inaugural workshop in London. Forty international companies are expected to participate, including Coca-Cola, Dow, L'Oreal, MARS and Marks & Spencer.

The ambition of the New Plastics Economy initiative is to re-think the way we design, use and recover plastics, through collaboration and innovation, in order to move towards a plastics system that works in the long term.

The project aims to take what is currently a disorganised approach to the environmental impact of plastics and create a long-term, international plan. It seeks to create a shared sense of direction and to spark a wave of innovation and better environmental outcomes.

Focusing on positive solutions, the project invites corporations and communities to get involved in re-imagining a plastics system that works. It will engage the innovative power of the scientific community in a coordinated programme of research and competitions.

In January, a report on the New Plastics Economy was launched at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. The report provided one of the first comprehensive views of the global plastic packaging chain, highlighting its contributions, but also revealing its drawbacks, in terms both of financial loss and environmental effects.

The project received an astounding £500,000 from players of People's Postcode Lottery at the 2016 Charity Gala in Edinburgh. The initiative is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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The New Plastics Economy project aims to improve the way the world handles its plastic, from production to disposal