Quite apart from the global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has also created unforeseen setbacks and challenges for the environmental sector, including the movement to transition away from single-use plastics, improve our ability to collect and recycle plastic waste, and prevent plastic from leaking into our oceans and waterways.

What is the World Economic Forum doing about the coronavirus outbreak?

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic requires global cooperation among governments, international organizations and the business community, which is at the centre of the World Economic Forum’s mission as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,667 stakeholders from 1,106 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is COVID-19.

The platform is created with the support of the World Health Organization and is open to all businesses and industry groups, as well as other stakeholders, aiming to integrate and inform joint action.

As an organization, the Forum has a track record of supporting efforts to contain epidemics. In 2017, at our Annual Meeting, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was launched – bringing together experts from government, business, health, academia and civil society to accelerate the development of vaccines. CEPI is currently supporting the race to develop a vaccine against this strand of the coronavirus.

What are the pressing challenges that have emerged for the global movement to combat plastic pollution and waste as a result of COVID-19? What are the biggest setbacks we’re seeing in each sector? How are different players adapting their strategies in light of this new paradigm, and what are some examples of support and collaboration that can help us move forward together?

Tune in at 15:00 pm CET to hear from our panellists below.


Keynote Address:

The Rt Hon. Zac Goldsmith, Minister, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom


  • Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Morgan Stanley
  • Chever Voltmer, Director of Plastics Initiatives, Ocean Conservancy
  • Haley Lowry, Global Sustainability Director, Dow
  • Karin Kemper, Global Environment Director, World Bank
  • Maggie Buggie, Head of Services Strategy, SAP
  • Surendra Patawari, Chairman, Gemini Corp
  • Taylor Cass Talbott, Program Officer, WIEGO


Paul Rose, Broadcast Journalist; National Geographic Expedition Leader