Consumer giants sign up to Plastics Pact as it launches in the US

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network has expanded further with the launch of the US Plastics Pact at Circularity20.

The Pact is led by The Recycling Partnership, with the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Ensuring plastic never becomes waste in the world’s largest economy and will require ‘unprecedented levels of innovation and collaboration’, the Foundation says.

More than 60 signatories have united behind a common vision for a circular economy for plastic, including businesses, government agencies, NGOs, universities, trade bodies, and investors.

The US Plastics Pact signatories includes Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever United States and Walmart.

This is an exciting step on the journey towards a circular economy for plastic in the United States

Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “This is an exciting step on the journey towards a circular economy for plastic in the United States, one that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment.

“This effort will not only help to create solutions in the US, but across the world, as part of our global network of Plastics Pacts.

“We are looking forward to working with all those involved to drive real change, by eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic items, innovating to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating it in practice.

“We encourage others to join us on this journey towards a United States free of plastic waste and pollution.”

Together, the members of the first Plastics Pact in North America, aim to:

  • Define a list of plastic packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021, and take measures to eliminate them by 2025
  • Ensure all plastic packaging will be 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
  • Undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging by 2025
  • Ensure the average proportion of recycled content or responsibly-sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging reaches 30% by 2025

Progress against these targets will be reported publicly on an annual basis, the Foundation says.

Igniting systems change

Sarah Dearman, VP of Circular Ventures at The Recycling Partnership, said: “Together through the US Plastics Pact, we will ignite systems change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy.

“As the lead organisation that engages the full supply chain to advance circularity in the US, it’s a natural fit for The Recycling Partnership to further collaborative action with other industry leaders to create substantial, long-lasting change for the betterment of our planet.

“The results from the US Plastics Pact’s efforts to advance packaging, improve recycling, and reduce plastic waste will benefit the entire system and all materials.”

Ambitious action

The US Plastics Pact joins other national Pacts (in the UK, France, Chile, The Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal) as well as the regional European Plastics Pact as members of the global Plastics Pact network led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

This platform sets out to drive ‘ambitious action’ towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastics, exchanging insights and best practices across countries and regions to accelerate the transition.

Erin Simon, Head, Plastic Waste and Business at the World Wildlife Fund, said: “Plastic pollution is a global crisis that needs local solutions, and the United States is one of biggest opportunities where regional interventions can result in transformative change around the world.

“To do this, WWF sees the US Plastics Pact as the linchpin for uniting the critical stakeholders—industry leaders, waste management systems and policymakers—under a common vision and action plan for meaningful, measurable impact.”

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