Top brands and retail giants come together with a pledge to redouble efforts to curb plastic waste
Dozens of US companies, including household names such as Coca-Cola, Colgate, and Kimberley-Clark, have signed up to a new Plastics Pact committing them to a raft of targets aimed at combating the global plastics crisis that is poisoning the planet's oceans and pumping CO2 into the atmosphere.
Signing the pact, more than 60 companies, government agencies, and NGOs have pledged to ensure that by 2025 they have made all plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable, effectively recycled or composted 50 per cent of their plastic packaging, and boosted the average recycled or responsibly sourced bio-based content of packging by 50 per cent.
They will also draw up a list of packaging defined as problematic or unnecessary by 2021, and work to eliminate items on the list by 2025.
The initiative is launched today by the Recycling Partnership and WWF, as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact network, which has similar initiatives underway in the UK, France, Portugal, South Africa, Holland, and Chile. The US pact now joins these others in bringing together plastic packaging producers, brands, retailers, recyclers, and waste management companies to take coordinated action to tackle the plastics crisis.
"Together, through the US Plastics Pact, we will ignite systems change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy," said Sarah Dearman, vice president of circular ventures at The Recycling Partnership. "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."
Progress towards the targets will be monitored and reported via the WWF's ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which provides a methodology for measuring the signatories "plastic footprints", alongside a space to publicly report on progress against their plastic waste commitments. An annual report on progress towards the pact's goals will be published each year, WWF 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," said Erin Simon, head of plastic waste and business at WWF.
The participating organisations will now work together to create a roadmap laying out the steps to achieving the pact's targets.
The latest report from the UK Plastics Pact, published in December 2019, found that supermarkets had together removed 19,000 tonnes of non-recyclable black plastic and 3,400 tonnes of plastic from fresh produce since joining the group. By the end of 2020, it said, participants were on course to remove a billion unnecessary single-use plastic items from circulation.
Wind power provided almost 60 per cent of the UK's electricity in the early hours of Saturday morning, providing a fresh milestone ahead of a busy week for the fast-expanding industry
RTFA aims to drive uptake of low-carbon fuels such as bioethanol, biomethane, biodiesel and biopropene
Current regulation and risk disclosure efforts are insufficient for tackling the varying and complex risks posed by nature loss and climate change, UCL research argues
The waste plastic conversion facility is located in the Humber, where local authorities hope to establish a world-leading green industrial hub