The Plastic Waste Coalition of Action, a CEO-led coalition of 36 leading consumer goods and retail companies under the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) announced today the initial advances made by the initiative to reduce waste from plastic packaging. The coalition, representing shared revenue of more than 1 trillion euros and representing more than 10% of the global plastic packaging market, was founded earlier this year, building on the CGF’s 2018 endorsement of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

According to the coalition, it has finalised the first two of a series of “Golden Design Rules” for the design of plastic packaging. The rules aim to accelerate progress towards using less and better plastic, including reducing the complexity of the recycling process for different types of materials, in order to increase recycling rates. The new rules focus on increasing the value of PET bottle recycling and removing problematic elements from packaging, such as carbon black, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and EPS (expanded polystyrene), which complicate the recycling process. Members of the coalition have committed to adopting these rules wherever possible by 2025.

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The coalition also announced that it has developed a framework for the development and implementation of extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs around the world, with the release of its new position paper, “Building a Circular Economy for Packaging: A View from the Consumer Goods Industry on Optimal Extended Producer Responsibility.” The coalition stated that it supports the development of EPR programmes as a way to help facilitate industry and government collaboration on improved waste management.

Member companies of the Plastic Waste Coalition include Amcor, Barilla, Bel Group, Beijing Hualian Group, Carrefour, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Dairy Farm, Essity, Grupo Bimbo, GSK, Henkel, ICA, Jerónimo Martins, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Kao Corporation, Land O’Lakes, L’Oréal, Loblaw Companies Limited., Mars, Incorporated, Merck Animal Health, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, NTUC Fairprice, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Rewe Group, Sainsbury’s, SC Johnson, SIG Combibloc Group, Tetra Pak, Unilever PLC, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Walmart. The Coalition is sponsored at the CGF Board level by Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, and Galen Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited.

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever, said:

“We must urgently take action to stop plastic waste and move to a circular model. This is the number one priority for us as a Coalition. No one business can achieve this on its own, which is why we’ve joined forces to drive change across our own industry and to hopefully set an example for other sectors.”

Galen Weston, Executive Chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited, said:

“Our industry generates a substantial share of the world’s plastic waste. As the companies that design, package, and sell the products, we must be a substantial part of the solution. As a Coalition, we actively support impactful decisions, and thoughtful policies that reduce plastic waste.”