U.S. Plastics Pact unveils national strategy for a circular economy by 2025
The aggressive “Roadmap to 2025” aims to accelerate progress toward four specific targets that address plastic waste at its source.
The U.S. Plastics Pact, a consortium led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact Network, has unveiled what it calls “an aggressive national strategy” to ensure all plastic packaging in that nation will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
The strategy, titled “Roadmap to 2025,” is supported by nearly 100 corporations, start-ups, research entities, NGOs, universities, and state and local governments across the plastics packaging value chain, the group said in a June 15 news release, and includes mandatory reporting and specific timeframes in order to realize meaningful and targeted outcomes for a circular economy for plastics.
“The current state of U.S. infrastructure, coupled with the lack of incentives to utilize recycled content in plastic packaging, have put immense strain on the value chain,” said Emily Tipaldo, the U.S. Plastics Pact’s executive director. “The Roadmap is designed to help U.S. industry leaders act on the significant, systemwide change needed to realize a circular economy for plastics by 2025. The time frame is short, and the workload is immense, but if we choose to do nothing, the visions of a circular economy across the U.S. will give way to the status quo. We look forward to working with all our members to drive this critical change.”
The U.S. Plastic Pact, which was formally launched in August 2020, developed the Roadmap to ensure what it calls “systemic change” and accelerate progress toward four specific targets that address plastic waste at its source:
- Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
- 100 per cent of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
- By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50 per cent of plastic packaging.
- By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30 per cent.
The Roadmap is driven by the U.S. Plastics Pact’s signatories, also known as “Activators,” who utilize working groups to leverage extensive experience from existing programs, optimize investments, identify gaps, and aid in pooling funding for areas in need.
“The Roadmap is an important step toward igniting systems change for the circularity of packaging in the U.S.,” said Sarah Dearman, vice president of circular ventures, The Recycling Partnership. “The Recycling Partnership is proud to be leading the way as we engage stakeholders from all along the full supply chain in creating scalable solutions that are tailor made to fit the unique needs of our U.S. system.”
To read the U.S. Plastic Pact’s full roadmap, visit usplasticspact.org/roadmap.