Eleven leading brands, retailers and packaging companies have pledged to use 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier. Currently only 14 per cent of plastic packaging worldwide is collected for recycling.
The announcement was made by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation at the World Economic Forum, currently underway in Davos. The companies include well-known international brands: Amcor, Ecover, evian, L’Oréal, Mars, Marks & Spencer, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart and Werner & Mertz. Together, they represent more than 6 million tonnes of plastic packaging per year.
Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, said: “As a consumer goods industry, we need to go much further, much faster, in addressing the challenge of single use plastics by leading a transition away from the linear take-make-dispose model of consumption, to one which is truly circular by design.”
Unilever, for instance, has pledged not only to ensure that all its plastic is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, but has also committed to increase its use of recycled plastic content in its packaging by at least 25 per cent by 2025 (against a 2015 baseline). It will also share its solution to recycle multi-layered sachets – CreaSolv – with the entire industry to tackle sachet waste.
Amcor became the first global packaging company pledging to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025. Amcor CEO Ron Delia said that his company aspires “to be the leading global packaging company”. Most of the 10 other companies to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation pledge are Amcor customers.
Speaking from Davos, Rob Opsomer of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation commended Amcor’s pledge, calling it an “important milestone towards creating a circular economy for plastics”.
Opsomer called on other companies “to follow Amcor’s lead”.
Research by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has found that the equivalent of one dumper truck’s worth of plastic enters the oceans every minute, and by 2050 it forecasts there could be more plastic (by weight) in the ocean than fish. Today, only 14 per cent of plastic packaging gets collected for recycling, according to a Unilever statement.
Image credit: Dave Goodman via Flickr