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US Plastics Pact Aims to Ignite Further Change Toward Circular Economy for Plastic

60+ brands, retailers, government agencies, and NGOs collaborate to advance all plastic packaging to become reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Today, The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launch the US Plastics Pact — an ambitious initiative to unify diverse public-private stakeholders across the plastics value chain to rethink the way we design, use, and reuse plastics; to create a path toward a circular economy for plastic in the United States. The initiative is being launched as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact network.

Expanding on the work done to eliminate plastic waste from corporate value chains by the UK Plastics Pact — launched in 2018 with a number of the same players — and WWF’s work on the same through its ReSource: Plastics platform, the US Plastics Pact brings together companies, government entities, NGOs, researchers, and other stakeholders in a pre-competitive platform for industry-led innovation. It will drive collaborative action and deliver a significant system change toward a circular economy for plastic, enabling companies and governments in the US to collectively meet impactful goals by 2025 that they could not otherwise meet on their own.

A new partnership, also launched today, between US Plastic Pact “Activators” The Clorox Company and Colgate-Palmolive with Chilean startup Algramo — to scale up the zero-waste distribution of common household cleaning and personal care products to the US market — is an excellent example of this kind of collaboration already in progress.

"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. "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."

In line with the Ellen McArthur Foundation's vision for a “new plastics economy” — which unites more than 850+ organizations, underpinned by common definitions and concrete targets — the US Plastics Pact brings together plastic packaging producers, brands, retailers, recyclers, waste management companies, policymakers, and other stakeholders to work collectively toward scalable solutions tailored to the unique needs and challenges within the U.S landscape, through vital knowledge sharing and coordinated action.

As of today, more than 60 “Activators” — including for-profit companies, government agencies, and NGOs — have joined the US Plastics Pact, representing each part of the supply and plastics manufacturing chain. Participating corporate Activators include The Clorox Company, Closed Loop Partners, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Danone North America, Eastman, Henkel Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, L'Oréal USA, Mars, Inc; Molson Coors, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Soul Buffalo, Target, TerraCycle, Unilever US and Walmart.

By joining the US Plastics Pact, Activators agree to collectively deliver on four targets:

  1. Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.

  2. By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable.

  3. By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging.

  4. By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%.

“L’Oréal is committed to doing our part to protect the planet from the global climate crisis we are facing, and we are transforming our business to do so, said Danielle Azoulay, Head of CSR and Sustainability at L’Oréal USA. “We know that the impact of our global sustainability commitment, L’Oréal for the Future, will reach its full potential through collaboration — across our entire value chain, our industry and beyond it. We are proud to be part of the US Plastics Pact and join over 60 organizations in working together toward system-wide change toward a circular economy for plastic in the United States.”

Results of measurable change in each of the target areas and transparent reporting are key outcomes of the US Plastics Pact. Progress of the US 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 their plastic waste commitments each year. The report will be made publicly available each year.

The next step for the US Plastics Pact will be to create a roadmap, laying out the steps to achieving the targets outlined above. For more information on how to join the US Plastics Pact and drive collective action, contact [email protected].

Read more about the Pact and find the full list of participating companies and advisors here.