Canadian Packaging

Nova chemicals steps in to help fight marine plastic litter by aiming right at the source

Canadian Packaging   

Sustainability Plastic Borealis Marine plastic pollution NOVA Chemicals Plastic Project STOP sustainability SYSTEMIQ

With minimal waste services in place, many citizens are forced to dump their waste directly into the environment.

Calgary-headquartered plastics processor NOVA Chemicals is donating nearly $2 million to the international Project STOP imitative aimed at designing and implementing solution to reduce marine plastic pollution—especially in countries with high leakage of plastics into our oceans.

“We understand the growing concern about marine plastic pollution and agree we must take meaningful action to address this challenge,” says John Thayer, vice-president of the NOVA Chemicals’ polyethylene business.

“Plastics are too valuable to be thrown away or left as litter,” he says, “which is why we are working with Project STOP to find high-impact solutions to prevent plastic pollution in critical locations around the world.”

With Southeast Asia identified as a major source of marine plastic debris—with the region’s plastic consumption and economic growth outpacing the expansion of waste management systems—Project STOP has chosen Indonesia as a primary focus country.


To that end, NOVA Chemicals’ investment will support the first city partnership in Muncar, a coastal fishing community located in Banyuwangi, Indonesia.

With minimal waste services in place, many citizens are forced to dump their waste directly into the environment. Muncar was chosen as the first STOP location due to the seriousness of the challenge, coupled with strong leadership and environmental commitment at national, regency and local levels.

Project STOP was co-created in 2017 by Borealis and SYSTEMIQ.

As a sister company of NOVA Chemicals, Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the field of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, while SYSTEMIQ specializes in co-creating and invests in innovative solutions for sustainable land use, material and energy systems.

“Project STOP represents an important step towards creating a plastics circular economy,” says Boralis chief executive officer Alfred Stern.

“We are more than pleased that after our joint venture with Borouge, our sister company NOVA Chemicals joins forces with us in this industry-leading initiative,” Stern states.

“The collaboration of Borealis, Borouge and NOVA Chemicals highlights our commitment to proactively help solve the issue of ocean plastic.”

The Project STOP is focused on achieving three primary objectives:

  • Zero leakage of waste into the environment by ensuring waste collection services are available to all households and businesses through increasing pick-up points, sorting facilities and staff.
  • Increased recycling of plastics by strengthening the supply chain from waste collection to waste management companies.
  • Benefits for the local community by creating new jobs in the waste management system and reducing the impacts of mismanaged waste on public health, tourism and fisheries.

“We are delighted to work with NOVA Chemicals to stop plastic pollution from reaching the world’s oceans,” says Martin Stuchtey, founder and managing partner of SYSTEMIQ.

“There is a great need to accelerate circular waste management solutions in Asia, and we are very excited to design and deliver this new city partnership model by working collaboratively with our global corporate partners and our government partners in Indonesia.”


Stories continue below

Category Captains 2023