Circular Economy

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Open Translation

ASHEVILLE, NC: The U.S. Plastics Pact, a consortium led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has launched a circular economy roadmap for plastic by 2025.

The U.S. Pact, part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network, wants to accelerate progress toward four specific targets that address plastic waste at its source:

• Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
• 100 percent of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
• By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50 percent of plastic packaging.
• By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30 percent.

The roadmap, supported by state and local governments, corporations, start-ups, research entities, NGOs and academia, also includes mandatory reporting and specific timeframes in order to produce a circular economy for plastic.

“To meaningfully address the plastic waste crisis in the United States, we must unite the critical stakeholders — industry leaders, waste management systems, and policymakers — under a cohesive action plan,” said Erin Simon, WWF head of Plastic Waste and Business. “The roadmap will be the key for setting a national strategy that reaches our set targets and measures our progress in a consistent, transparent manner.”

The consortium says success rests primarily on two elements: the extent to which brands, retailers, and packaging producers maximize actions within their control, and the extent to which the value chain can work collectively to overcome systemic barriers and to implement supporting policies.

“The current state of US infrastructure, coupled with the lack of incentives to utilize recycled content in plastic packaging, have put immense strain on the value chain,” commented Emily Tipaldo, executive director of the Plastics Pact. “The roadmap is designed to help US industry leaders act on the significant, systemwide change needed to realize a circular economy for plastics by 2025.

“The time frame is short, and the workload is immense, but if we choose to do nothing, the visions of a circular economy across the U.S. will give way to the status quo. We look forward to working with all our members to drive this critical change,” she added.
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