Materials

US Plastics Pact launched

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) Plastics Pact network has expanded into the US, with a new national Plastics Pact launching on Tuesday (25 August).

The new pact, which will be led by The Recycling Partnership with the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has already gained the support of 60 signatories across the US supply chain.

US Plastics Pact logoThe issue of plastic pollution remains high on the environmental agendas of world governments, with a new study finding that ocean plastic could triple by 2040 unless concerted action is taken

Members of the first Plastics Pact in North America, including businesses, government agencies, NGOs, universities, trade bodies and investors, have united behind four overarching targets:

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

Progress towards the above targets will be reported on an annual basis to ensure that action is being taken.

The US Plastics Pact joins other national pacts in the UK, France, Chile, the Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal, as well as the regional European Plastics Pact. The expanding network will exchange insights and best practices across countries to accelerate the transition to a low-plastic economy.

Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead at the EMF, said: "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. 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."

Sarah Dearman, VP of Circular Ventures at The Recycling Partnership, added: “Together through the US Plastics Pact, we will ignite systems change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy. As the lead organization that engages the full supply chain to advance circularity in the US, it’s a natural fit for The Recycling Partnership to further collaborative action with other industry leaders to create substantial, long-lasting change for the betterment of our planet. 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.” 

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