The US Plastics Pact has been launched, joining the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network to drive progress towards a circular economy for plastics.
Led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the US Pact brings together stakeholders across the plastics value chain to rethink the way plastics are designed, used and reused.
These stakeholders include plastic packaging producers, brands, retailers, waste management companies, government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and researchers.
Members will work together, through knowledge sharing and coordinated action, on scalable solutions tailored to the unique needs and challenges within the US landscape. The Pact aims to deliver a significant system change towards a circular economy for plastic in the US.
More than 60 ‘activators’ have reportedly already joined the US Plastics Pact, including Mondelēz International and Nestlé, which are both also members of the UK initiative.
By joining, members agree to deliver a number of targets by 2025, including: ensuring all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable; undertaking ‘ambitious actions’ to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging; achieving 30% average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging.
The fourth and final target is to define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
Progress on the Pact’s objectives will be monitored through WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which provides a standard methodology to track companies’ plastic footprints. A report will be made publicly available each year.
“Plastic pollution is a global crisis that needs local solutions, and the United States is one of the biggest opportunities where regional interventions can result in transformative change around the world,” said Erin Simon, head, plastic waste and business at World Wildlife Fund.
“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.”
Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network is a globally-aligned response to plastic waste and pollution, which includes 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.”
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