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Global Commitment on plastic waste

Source: International Plastics News for Asia

Date Published:11/28/2018 09:11:43 PM

A Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at source has been signed by 290+ organisations, representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally.  

A Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at source has been signed by 290+ organisations, representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally. This commitment was officially unveiled at the Our Ocean conference held in Bali, Indonesia on October 29, 2018.

The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment, and is signed by many of the world’s largest packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs. The signatories include well-known consumer businesses such as Danone, H&M Group, L’Oreal, Mars, Incorporated, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, and Unilever; major packing producers such as Amcor; plastics producers including Novamont, and resource management specialist Veolia.

The Global Commitment aims to create a new normal’ for plastic packaging. Targets will be reviewed every 18 months, and become increasingly ambitious over the coming years. Businesses that sign the commitment will publish annual data on their progress to help drive momentum and ensure transparency. The targets include: eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models; innovate to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025; circulate the plastic produced, by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products.

Eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastics is an essential part of the Global Commitment vision, and will make it easier to keep remaining plastics in the economy and out of the environment. The Global Commitment and its vision for a circular economy for plastic are supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and have been endorsed by the World Economic Forum, The Consumer Goods Forum (a CEO-led organisation representing some 400 retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries), and 40 universities, institutions and academics.

More than 15 financial institutions with in excess of $2.5 trillion in assets under management have also endorsed the Global Commitment and over $200 million has been pledged by five venture capital funds to create a circular economy for plastic.

Solutions to the plastics crisis

Signatories to the Global Commitment have undertaken steps to meet the set targets.

Amcor is leading the development and manufacture of packaging that is better for the environment, customers and consumers – by being the first global packaging company pledging to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025, significantly increasing its use of recycled material, and helping drive consistently greater recycling of packaging around the world.

Colgate-Palmolive Company committed to 100% recyclability of packaging across all its product categories by 2025 and to achieve 25% recycled content in all plastic packaging by that same date. It aims to accelerate its progress in part through scalable improvement in the capacity and quality of recycled material available for its packaging in the years ahead, and will continue to innovate in order to reduce and eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging and to move from 98% to 100% PVC–free packaging by 2020.

Danone’s brand, evian, plans to make all its bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025.

Danone’s brand, evian, plans to make all its bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025.

Another signatory, L’Oréal, commits that all of its plastic packaging will be rechargeable, refillable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, which is in line with its efforts over the past years on the continuous improvement of the environmental and social impact of 100% of its new products by 2020, as part of its “Sharing Beauty With All” sustainability programme.

Danone’s iconic brand evian is now in 100% recyclable bottles as it aims to make all of its plastic bottles from 100% recycled plastic by 2025. evian plans to achieve this through pioneering partnerships to redesign its packaging, accelerate recycling initiatives and clean up plastic waste from nature.

All of Ecover’s packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable. The company has set itself the bold ambition to use 100% recycled plastic in all bottles by 2020, to introduce recycled content into its caps from 2018 and to trial new, non-plastic, fully biodegradable materials that are still recyclable by 2020.

Marks & Spencer announced that all its plastic packaging in the UK will not only be 100% recyclable, but also ‘widely recycled’ in the UK by 2022. It will work to eliminate packaging that strays into the environment (particularly oceans) and actively design out packaging parts that can’t be reused or recycled. It will introduce products with reclaimed social plastics as a component, providing positive social benefit to the communities from which the materials are sourced.

Nestlé’s ambition is that 100% of its packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025. To achieve this, it is focusing on eliminating non-recyclable plastics; encouraging the use of plastics that allow better recycling rates of major plastics used today; and working to eliminate or change complicated combinations of packaging materials. It will also increase its use of recycled plastics, including the use of 25% rPET in its bottles across Europe by 2025.

Nestlé’s ambition is that 100% of its packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025.

Nestlé’s ambition is that 100% of its packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025.

PepsiCo announced its ambition to design 100% of its packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable, increase recycled materials in its plastic packaging, reduce packaging’s carbon impact, and in partnership with the PepsiCo Foundation, work to increase recycling rates by 2025.

The Coca-Cola Company has announced a bold, ambitious goal to help collect and recycle 100% of the packaging it sells by 2030. This is supported by two key goals – to continue towards making all its consumer packaging 100% recyclable by 2025 and to have 50% recycled content in its packaging by 2030. Coca-Cola’s plan, called ‘World Without Waste”, will work with a number of partners to achieve this global goal for packaging that includes design, collection and partnering – and encompasses the whole life of the package.

Unilever announced its commitment to help transform global plastic packaging material flows by: ensuring all of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; increasing its use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025 (against a 2015 baseline); publishing the full “palette” of plastics materials used in its packaging by 2020 to help create a plastics protocol for the industry; and helping tackle the industry-wide sachet waste issue, by investing in proving, and then sharing with industry, a technical solution to recycle multi-layered sachets – CreaSolv.

Walmart announced that 100% of its Private Brand packaging will be recyclable by 2025 and aims to reduce environmental and social impacts of private brand and national brand packaging. Beyond its own organisation, Walmart encourages suppliers to participate in Project Gigaton, by setting goals to improve packaging optimisation, recyclability, and the use of recycled and sustainably sourced materials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And the Walmart Foundation supports the Closed Loop Fund to help improve access to recycling and strengthen the recycling infrastructure.

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