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While ReSource: Plastic members are demonstrating that plastic reporting is possible, voluntary corporate action is not sufficient to address the scale and urgency of the plastic waste crisis.
World Wildlife Fund’s ReSource: Plastic program has released its fourth
annual public report — Transparent 2023
— revealing how some of the world’s largest brands are tracking, measuring and
reporting on their respective plastic footprints.
The data reveals insights and in-depth recommendations on tackling plastic waste
within internal, corporate supply chains and across wider, multi-stakeholder
efforts. The elimination of
continues to be the most important action that companies can take to directly
address the plastic pollution crisis through their own portfolios.
Transparent 2023 examines the plastic footprints of ReSource members Amcor,
The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health,
Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Keurig Dr Pepper, McDonald’s
Corporation, Procter & Gamble and Starbucks. The report captures each
company’s plastic by polymer type and form; their use of recycled content and
sustainably sourced, biobased content; and the likely waste-management pathways
for the aggregate portfolio. The comprehensive report includes progress made by
each ReSource member from 2021 to 2022 and compares year-over-year results for
“All companies should be reporting on their plastic footprint — something we are
advocating for in the UN Global Treaty to End Plastic
said Erin Simon, VP of plastic waste
+ business at WWF. “ReSource member companies are ahead of the curve —
demonstrating that plastic reporting is not an onerous or impossible task. Their
transparency enables lessons to be learned and actions to be taken that will
reverberate across supply chains and industries worldwide.”
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For the first time, ReSource is collecting comprehensive data from its members
on reuse efforts with the hope of sharing learnings on the best ways to
eliminate plastic waste. WWF sees reuse
emerging as a key strategy, with all nine members exploring reuse in some
capacity. This year’s Transparent report also measured progress and captured
invaluable insights across four areas: eliminating unnecessary
plastic, doubling global recycling and composting, shifting to sustainable
inputs for remaining plastic, and improving data harmonization.
Five ReSource members saw an overall reduction in their virgin
fossil-based plastic tonnage from 2021 to 2022.
Of the nine members, four have reduced and five have increased their
absolute tonnage of plastic since their baseline.
Despite progress in some areas, the total weight of plastic in the
aggregate portfolio increased by 0.8 percent to 7.26 million metric tons
in 2022 from 7.20 million metric tons in 2021.
Overall, ReSource members have made progress to reduce problematic
plastics. In 2022, these products made up 1.2 percent of Member
portfolios, which is less than half of the 3.2 percent in the 2018 baseline
Among ReSource members, the use of recycled content has increased to 12
percent in 2022 from 10.2 percent in 2021.
The share of packaging that is recyclable has increased to 72.5 percent
in 2022 from 70.4 percent in 2021.
“At Starbucks, our environmental promise to give back more than we take from
underpins our efforts to cut our waste, water and carbon footprints in half by
2030,” said Starbucks chief sustainability officer Michael
Kobori. “To further
our waste reduction, we’ve continued our shift toward reusables — with 20
in markets around the world; as well as single-use packaging solutions — like
our FSC-certified single-use
made with 30 percent recycled material and 25 percent less plastic in the liner
and our transition to 100 percent rPET Ethos water bottles in US and
Canada. As we look to the future to meet our ambitious goals, programs like
ReSource are key for collaboration across sectors to drive meaningful progress.”
WWF recently joined the Steering Committee of CDP’s Scaling Plastics
Disclosure initiative to inform and support
the expansion of CDP’s plastic questionnaire. As the questionnaire becomes
increasingly robust and comprehensive, WWF’s intent is for it to replace the
mandatory annual reporting for ReSource members that currently occurs through
the ReSource Footprint
As part of the Scaling Plastics Disclosure initiative and ReSource: Plastic, the
Footprint Tracker serves as a tool for companies wishing to understand not only
the amount and the kinds of plastics they are releasing into the market, but
also the waste and leakage being generated as a result. It also provides a
common framework for companies to report on their plastic impact.
Understanding the scope of the problem through plastic reporting is the first
step to addressing plastic pollution. ReSource members are demonstrating that
plastic reporting is possible. However, voluntary corporate action is not
sufficient to address the scale and urgency of the plastic waste crisis.
National and international policy action, through a legally binding Global
Treaty to End Plastic Pollution and Extended Producer Responsibility
legislation, are critical to ensuring a future free of plastic waste. Six out of
nine members are actively engaged in the Global Treaty process.
To view the full report, click
To view the executive summary, click
Published Dec 15, 2023 8am EST / 5am PST / 1pm GMT / 2pm CET