A new arrangement announced last week at Circularity 20, GreenBiz Group’s virtual conference on the circular economy, has the prospective to change that: The US Plastics Pact.
The US recycling market has actually been in free fall because, in 2018, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian nations announced that they would no longer import many types of recyclable products. Naturally, the US recycling system had been a mess for far longer, seeing as the nation never completely established the infrastructure to recycle anywhere near the quantity of plastic waste it produces. Certainly, just 8.4 percent of all the plastic produced in 2017 ultimately got recycled, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
This new effort is a collective task released by the Recycling Partnership and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that aims to upgrade the way the United States uses plastics so that they don’t become waste in the first place. The effort is part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation‘s international Plastics Pact network: The think tank has arranged key public and private stakeholders to press for more of a circular economy for plastic in countries worldwide, from the United Kingdom to Chile to South Africa.
Revamping the way we use the most ubiquitous and convenient products on the planet won’t be easy. However, the initiative is setting unique targets, goals, deadlines, and due-dates for meeting them. Shooting for 2025, Pact’s primary objectives are:
(1) Ensure all plastic product packaging is 100 percent recyclable, recyclable or compostable
(2) Do something to make sure that 50 percent of plastic packaging is recycled or composted
(3) Have the average recycled material or responsibly sourced bio-based material in plastic packaging be around 30 percent
The US Plastics Pact has actually collected more than 60 prominent partners, which will provide research study and financing. They consist of local governments from Arizona to Texas to California; NGOs such as the Ocean Conservancy and The United States Composting Council; and business ranging from Eastman to Target. All of these stakeholders have to consent to work in a pre-competitive environment towards the Pact’s targets.