The new U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaboration organized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Recycling Partnership, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), was launched during the opening keynote by Ellen MacArthur at GreenBiz’s Circularity 20 conference in August. The Pact has engaged more than 850 organizations to “work collectively toward scalable solutions tailored to the needs and challenges within the U.S. landscape,” states a press release. “The vision aims to ensure plastics never become waste by eliminating the plastics we don’t need, innovating to ensure the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment.” Companies, government entities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), researchers, and other stakeholders have come together in a precompetitive platform for industry led innovation by 2025 that they could not meet on their own. The U.S. Pact is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network, and joins Plastics Pacts in Europe, Latin America and Africa as a globally-aligned response to plastic waste and pollution.
More than 60 Activators — including a number in BioCycle’s orbit — have joined the U.S. Pact. Activators represent each part of the supply and plastics manufacturing chain, including end of life, e.g., composting. By joining the pact, Activators agree to deliver these four targets:
- Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
- By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
- By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging.
- By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced biobased content in plastic packaging will be 30%.
Results of measurable change in each of the target areas and transparent reporting are key outcomes of the Pact. Progress will be monitored through WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which provides a standard methodology to track companies’ plastic footprints and publicly report on their plastic waste commitments each year. The report will be made publicly available annually. The next step for the U.S. Plastics Pact will be to create a roadmap, laying out the steps to achieving the targets.