THE WHAT? Together with the UN Environment Programme, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has published its second annual New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Progress report, with includes detailed data on the progress of individual businesses and government signatories.
THE DETAILS The report shows there has been significant progress in two key areas: upping recycled content in plastic bottles etc and the phase-out of problematic packaging such as carbon black pigments.
However, the improvement on recyclability has been limited, as has any headway made on reducing the need for single use packaging, through a shift towards reusable solutions.
In terms of individual signatories, Henkel has reached 75 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging, out of its 100 percent target and 7 percent post-consumer content, out of its 30 percent target, while L’Oreal has hit 30 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable against its 100 percent target, and 6.91 percent post-consumer content against an ambitious 50 percent target. Natura is doing better on the post-consumer front with 9 percent, while Unilever is at 50 percent for recyclable, reusable or compostable and 5 percent on post-consumer recycled content.
THE WHY? Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, commented, “This report shows encouraging progress towards the vision for a circular economy for plastic in some areas, particularly in the use of recycled plastic. But, going forward it will be crucial to also see major steps forward in rethinking what packaging is put on the market in the first place. We are calling on industry to rapidly increase efforts to reduce single-use packaging and eliminate packaging types that have no credible pathway to making recycling work in practice and at scale. We know industry cannot deliver the change alone, and we are calling on policymakers to put in place the enabling conditions, incentives and international framework to accelerate this transition.“.