Canadian Plastics

U.S. Plastics Pact launched to achieve circular economy for plastics

The collaboration is led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund, and Ellen MacArthur Foundation with the goal of creating a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025.

August 27, 2020   Canadian Plastics

A collaborative initiative has just been launched in the U.S. with the goal of creating a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025.

Called the U.S. Plastics Pact, the collaboration is being led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), launched as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network.

“U.S. industry leaders recognize that significant, systemwide change is needed to realize a circular economy for plastic; individualized action isn’t enough and thus, the U.S. Plastics Pact brings together companies, government entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), researchers, and other stakeholders in a pre-competitive platform for industry-led innovation,” an Aug. 25 statement by the Recycling Partnership said. “The U.S. Plastics Pact will drive collaborative action and deliver a significant system change toward a circular economy for plastic, enabling companies and governments in the U.S. to collectively meet impactful goals by 2025 that they could not otherwise meet on their own.”

In line with the Ellen McArthur Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for plastic, which unites more than 850 organizations, the U.S. Plastics Pact brings together plastic packaging producers, brands, retailers, recyclers, waste management companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders. As of its first day, more than 60 so-called “activators” – including for-profit companies, government agencies, and NGOs – have joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, representing each part of the supply and plastics manufacturing chain.

By joining the U.S. Plastics Pact, activators agree to collectively deliver on four targets:

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

Results of measurable change in each of the target areas and transparent reporting are key outcomes of the U.S. Plastics Pact. Progress of the U.S. Pact will be tracked through WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which provides a standard methodology to track companies’ plastic footprints and publicly report on of their plastic waste commitments each year. The report will be made publicly available each year.

The U.S. Pact is launched as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network, joining Plastics Pacts in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.

“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,” said Sander Defruyt, lead of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. “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.”

An advisory council for the U.S. Plastics Pact has been established, and includes Amcor, Balcones Resources Inc., Austin Resource Recovery (City of Austin, TX), Eureka Recycling, Target, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever United States, and Walmart Inc.


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