On 26 August 2020, Amcor announced that it had joined the US Plastics Pact, a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative to create a path forward to a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. The US Plastics Pact is focused on four ambitious goals intended to drive significant systems change by unifying diverse cross-sector approaches, setting a national strategy, and creating scalable solutions. The first North American Pact of its kind, the US Plastics Pact is a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The US Pact convenes more than 60+ brands, retailers, NGOs, and government agencies across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to US packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions for rethinking products, packaging, and business models.
“As a global leader in the packaging industry, Amcor’s colleagues continuously push themselves and others to achieve more, to understand challenges and advance transformational change,” said Eric Roegner, president Amcor Rigid Packaging. “We are already working with customers to increase recycled materials in packaging and increase recycling rates worldwide. The goals of the US Plastics Pact are closely aligned with Amcor’s sustainability agenda, and we can leverage our in-depth industry expertise and resources at scale to advance the transition to a circular economy.”
As a founding member of the US Plastics Pact, Amcor has agreed to collectively deliver against four ambitious goals by 2025:
1. Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
2. All plastic packaging to be 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
3. Undertake ambitious actions to recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging effectively.
4. The average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging to be 30%.
While the US Pact is complementary to and follows the ambitious precedents set by the existing global network of Plastic Pacts, it will be tailored to meet the US market’s unique needs and challenges.
“The US Pact will inspire and support upstream innovation through a coordinated national strategy, creating a unified framework and enabling members to accelerate progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals,” says Sarah Dearman, vice president of Circular Ventures for The Recycling Partnership.
Amcor believes there will always be a role for responsible packaging that offers differentiated functionality while minimizing waste in the environment. A responsible packaging system will require innovative packaging design, improvements to waste management infrastructure, and increased consumer participation.
Amcor, with sales of US$ 12.5 billion, employs 47,000 people in 230 locations in 40 countries, including India, where it has several plants. The Recycling Partnership is a US nonprofit organization that leverages corporate partner funding to transform recycling for good in states, cities, and communities nationwide.
Plastics Pacts in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network
WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Plan) launched the UK Plastics Pact, the first Pact in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global network, in April 2018. Its membership now stands at over 100 businesses and supporters, which account for around 85% of the plastic packaging on UK supermarket shelves.
On 6 March 2020, the Global network of Plastics Pacts welcomed its first regional Plastics Pact – the European Plastics Pact – which was launched on that day in Brussels in consultation with more than 80 organizations from across Europe and with the support of WRAP. In line with all the Pacts in the global network, it will work towards developing a circular economy for plastics.