'Twiggy' Forrest's $440m plastics plan supported by big companies

The Sydney Morning Herald. By Nick Toscano.

Australian iron ore billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest says his ambitious plan to tackle ocean pollution by raising the raw cost of making plastic from fossil fuels has secured the support of leading global petrochemical giants including Saudi Aramco, the most profitable company in the world.

Mr Forrest, the founder of mining giant Fortescue Metals Group and prominent philanthropist, is embarking on a week-long national tour with wife Nicola to meet political and business leaders to discuss their Minderoo Foundation, including its latest push to arrest the flow of single-use plastics into the ocean.

The Minderoo Foundation has committed $US300 million ($440 million) to the campaign that aims to incentivise businesses to pay a voluntary contribution to push up the cost of manufacturing polymer from oil and gas. This would make it cheaper to manufacture it using plastic waste. Polymer sells for between $1000 and $1800 a tonne, Mr Forrest said.

Under the proposal, the extra cost per tonne of polymer made from fossil fuels would be passed onto consumer brands, meaning the contribution would be “fully reimbursed”, adding value for businesses by helping companies shift from fossil fuels as well as creating a commodity out of plastic waste.

Read the full story at the SMH.

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