Plastics and the circular economy
This topic area shows how the circular economy can help keep plastic in the economy and out of the...
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has received a Champions of the Earth award — the UN’s highest environmental honour.
This year, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) awards celebrated innovative solutions and transformative action to beat plastic pollution.
The Foundation was honoured in the Inspiration and Action category in recognition of its work developing solutions to tackle the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, and more.
“Plastic pollution is a deeply concerning strand of the triple planetary crisis. For the sake of our health and planet, we must end plastic pollution. This will take nothing less than a complete transformation, to reduce the amount of plastics produced and eliminate single-use plastics; and to switch to systems and alternatives that avoid the negative environmental and social impacts that we are witnessing with plastic pollution.
“As negotiations to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution progress, this year’s Champions of the Earth demonstrate that innovative solutions are available that can inspire us to rethink our relationship with plastic.”
Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP
“Momentum is building to tackle plastic waste and pollution. Over the past five years, leading businesses – through the Global Commitment – have shown it is possible to make progress, and more and more governments around the world are taking action.
“Yet the world is off track to stop plastic pollution. Now, with current negotiations to design an international legally binding instrument, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end plastic pollution.
“We need ambitious policy action – alongside accelerated business action. Maintaining momentum on both is crucial to accelerating progress.
“My thanks to the United Nations Environment Programme for recognising the importance of the Foundation’s work in this global effort to stop the flow of plastic pollution.”
Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder and Chair of Trustees, Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Since its inception in 2005, the annual Champions of the Earth awards have been given to trailblazers at the forefront of efforts to protect people and planet.
The awards celebrate inspirational and motivational examples of the potential of individual and collective action to change the world. Including this year’s five Champions, they have recognised 116 laureates; 27 world leaders, 70 individuals, and 19 organisations.
Previous winners include Al Gore, Sir David Attenborough, the Fridays for Future movement inspired by Greta Thunberg, Dr. Janez Potočnik, Janine Benyus, and the National Geographic Society.
Alongside the Foundation, this year’s winners were Mayor Josefina Belmonte of Quezon City, Philippines (honoured in the Policy Leadership category), Blue Circle, China, and José Manuel Moller, Chile (Entrepreneurial Vision), and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa (Science and Innovation).