President & CEO Cal Dooley Accepts Prestigious Award for Forming Alliance to End Plastic Waste; Announces $100,000 Commitment to 2020 Keep America Beautiful Litter Study
STAMFORD, Conn. (Oct. 31, 2019) – Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, honored the American Chemistry Council (ACC) as the 2019 Vision for America Award recipient for championing innovation across the plastics value chain and for their role in forming the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW). ACC President & CEO Cal Dooley accepted the award on behalf of ACC at the annual gala award dinner of Keep America Beautiful on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in New York City.
Dooley, who will be retiring at the end of 2019, helped bring together CEOs from leading global companies to form the AEPW. The Alliance – which today has more than 40 member companies – was publicly launched earlier this year with a goal of investing $1.5 billion over five years as a first step toward developing, accelerating and bringing to scale solutions to minimize and manage plastic waste, catalyze investment, engage communities, and promote solutions to help end plastic waste in the environment with specific, on-the-ground projects.
The AEPW was borne out of a belief that chemical and plastic makers share an imperative to combat the spread of mismanaged plastic waste around the globe. Research shows that most ocean plastic starts out on land, primarily – but not exclusively – from places lacking formal waste management systems. Investments in developing infrastructure will help abate litter, which is the foundation of Keep America Beautiful.
Keep America Beautiful, the premier nonprofit researching litter and its attendant costs to our waterways and the environment, will be conducting a national litter study in 2020. ACC announced at the gala that it will make a $100,000 donation to support the Keep America Beautiful Litter Study, which will update the nonprofit’s landmark 2009 “Litter in America” research, the only national scale research on the quantity of waste and its improper disposal in public spaces.
“Cal Dooley and the American Chemistry Council have been instrumental in gaining commitments to pursue ending plastic waste in the environment through the Alliance to End Plastic Waste,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “To solve this crisis, the scientific community, government agencies, conservation groups, corporations, and individuals will have to work together to pursue innovative yet workable solutions. A better understanding of the how, why and where these land-based litter challenges arise through our research will help shape intervention strategies that can help address the marine debris issue.”
Dooley noted that addressing this issue will require innovation and
thought leadership throughout the value chain, including making changes
to how we collect, sort, and process used plastics; changes in product
design; more and better recycling capabilities; and new business models
to repurpose plastics.
“Although plastics provide important benefits to society, plastics and other trash don’t belong in our waterways or the environment,” Dooley said in accepting the award on behalf of ACC. “That belief is what drove several leading CEOs to dedicate a significant portion of their time and resources to resolving this critical and complex problem.
Dooley acknowledged that diverse and sometimes opposing viewpoints exist on how best to address plastic waste. “We will succeed by building a foundation of trust and mutual respect with all stakeholders who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work,” Dooley added. “That’s why we believe in Keep America Beautiful and we encourage it to keep doing the hard work of bringing people together to build the future we all want to share through collaboration and partnerships that will move us forward.”
Keep America Beautiful also presented the Keep America Beautiful Leadership & Innovation Award to Circulate Capital, which has launched, along with SecondMuse, The Incubator Network to develop and promote technologies and business models that help prevent ocean plastic waste and improve waste management.
Since 1986, Keep America Beautiful has presented the Vision for America Award annually to a corporation whose commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability has significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship.
Past recipients of the Vision for America Award, which has been awarded annually since 1986, include Delta Air Lines, Caterpillar, Dell, Honeywell, Nestlé Waters North America, PepsiCo, UPS, Xerox, and most recently, O-I.
About American Chemistry Council
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents a diverse set of companies engaged in the business of chemistry. An innovative, $553 billion enterprise, we work to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our nation and our world. Our mission is to deliver value to our members through advocacy, using best-in-class member engagement, political advocacy, communications and scientific research. We are committed to fostering progress in our economy, environment and society. For more information, go to americanchemistry.com.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision.
Behavior change – steeped in education, research and behavioral science – is the cornerstone of Keep America Beautiful. We empower generations of community and environmental stewards with volunteer programs, hands-on experiences, educational curricula, practical advice and other resources. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.
(Photos by Mark Liflander, Liflander Photography LLC)