A group of over 60 leading Brands, Retailers, Investors, Government Agencies, and NGOs announced that they have joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), launched as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network. The goal of the initiative is to unify diverse public-private stakeholders across the plastics value chain to rethink the way plastics are designed, used and reused, and to create a path toward a circular economy for plastic in the US.

Companies joining the pact include Walmart, Target, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, Molson Coors and Mondelēz, among others. See below for a full list of signatories.

Sarah Dearman, VP of Circular Ventures for The Recycling Partnership, said:

“Together, through the U.S. Plastics Pact, we will ignite systems change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy. As the lead organization that engages the full supply chain to advance circularity in the U.S., it’s a natural fit for The Recycling Partnership to further collaborative action with other industry leaders to create substantial, long-lasting change for the betterment of our planet. The results from the U.S. Plastics Pact’s efforts to advance packaging, improve recycling, and reduce plastic waste will benefit the entire system and all materials.”

One of the driving forces behind the new initiative is the understanding that individual actions are insufficient to generate the systemwide changes needed to realize a circular economy for plastic. Companies and organizations joining the pact, referred to as Activators, agree to work collectively to deliver four targets:

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

On the path to achieving these targets, one of the Pact’s key outcomes will be tracking the measurable change in each area, along with transparent reporting. The Pact’s progress will be tracked by through WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which provides a standard methodology to track companies’ plastic footprints and publicly report on their plastic waste commitments each year.

Erin Simon, Head, Plastic Waste and Business at World Wildlife Fund, said:

“Plastic pollution is a global crisis that needs local solutions, and the United States is one of biggest opportunities where regional interventions can result in transformative change around the world. To do this, WWF sees the U.S. Plastics Pact as the linchpin for uniting the critical stakeholders—industry leaders, waste management systems, and policymakers—under a common vision and action plan for meaningful, measurable impact.”

The U.S. Pact is launched as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact network, joining Plastics Pacts in Europe, Latin America and Africa as a globally-aligned response to plastic waste and pollution that brings together shared ambition, combined expertise, and collaboration to create regional and national solutions toward a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste.

Sander Defruyt, Lead of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, said:

“This is an exciting step on the journey towards a circular economy for plastic in the United States, one that keeps plastic in the economy and out of the environment. This effort will not only help to create solutions in the US, but across the world, as part of our global network of Plastics Pacts. We are looking forward to working with all those involved to drive real change, by eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic items, innovating to ensure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable, and circulating it in practice. We encourage others to join us on this journey towards a United States free of plastic waste and pollution.”

Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Investment firm Closed Loop Partners, said:

“Addressing the challenge of plastic waste in the United States and beyond is urgent. Bringing together diverse stakeholders to align on a shared vision and roadmap for a circular economy for plastics is an important and much-needed step in the right direction. We look forward to bringing our expertise as circular economy investors and problem solvers to help solve a shared global waste challenge.”

The U.S. Plastics Pact activators include: ALDI US, Amcor, American Beverage Association (ABA), Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), City of Austin – Austin Resource Recovery (City of Austin, TX), Balcones Resources, Inc, Berkeley Ecology Center, Central Virginia Waste Management Association (CVWMA), City of Phoenix, AZ (Reimagine Phoenix), Closed Loop Partners, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Consumer Brands Association, Danone North America, Department of Ecology, State of Washington, Digimarc Corporation, Eastman, EcoCycle, Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI), Eureka Recycling, FMI, The Food Industry Association, Grove Collaborative, HARC (Houston Advanced Research Center), Henkel Corporation, International Recycling Group, ISRI (Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc.), Kimberly-Clark, King County, WA, L’Oreal USA, Mars, Incorporated, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Mondelz International, Inc., NAPCOR (National Association for PET Container Resources), National Waste and Recycling Association, Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC), Nestlé, Ocean Conservancy, PakTech, Plant Based Products Council, Polywize, PreZero US, Inc., RB, Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation, Alliance (REMADE), Renewlogy, Revolution, Save Our Shores, Seattle Public Utilities, Soul Buffalo, Ocean Plastics Leadership Network, Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, IL (SWALCO), Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Target, Terracycle, Inc., The Clorox Company, The Coca-Cola Company, The Global Kaiteki Center, The Sustainability Consortium, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Unilever United States, UPM Raflatac, Inc., The United States Composting Council, Walmart, Inc.