Circular economy organization The Recycling Partnership and sustainability-focused company SYSTEMIQ announced today the launch of Plastic IQ, a new data-based planning tool aimed at enabling U.S. companies develop effective plastic packaging waste reduction strategies. Plastic IQ is being made available to companies at no cost.

Developed with support by retail giant Walmart, Plastic IQ allows companies to prioritize actions to address plastic packaging waste, and accelerate progress toward a circular economy. The tool analyzes user data and helps companies calculate the circularity of their plastic packaging from production and consumption through to end of life. Plastic IQ offers real-world actions for users, taking companies through a series of steps to identify ways to use less plastic and promote better packaging, including quantifying the trade-offs in their decisions, and modelling how outside forces, such as policy or technology changes, may impact their efforts to reduce plastic waste.

Kathleen McLaughlin, EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart, said:

“Walmart supported the development of Plastic IQ to help companies better understand and identify solutions that can improve their plastic packaging strategies and minimize their plastic waste. Without action, it’s estimated the annual flow of plastic into the ocean could nearly triple by 2040. We must work urgently to move beyond business as usual, and Plastic IQ is a free, publicly available tool to help any company, big or small, get world-class guidance on the plastic packaging challenge – we hope it helps everyone move further, faster.”

According to The Recycling Partnership and SYSTEMIQ, the system was developed with guidance by a group of brand owners, retailers, and organizations, and several leading companies have already committed to use Plastic IQ, including Colgate-Palmolive Company, Grove Collaborative, Happy Family Organics, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Kellogg Company, Mondelēz International, Nestlé USA, Unilever, and Walmart.

Ben Dixon, Partner at SYSTEMIQ, said:

“Many companies are now setting targets and joining initiatives to address the challenge of plastic waste. We often hear that the plastics issue is complex for companies to navigate and set strategies. Information is power, and Plastic IQ is the solution that provides companies with the economic and environmental information needed to prioritize action, compare strategies against industry best practices and drive collective action.”

Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership, added:

“Plastic waste is a global challenge that must be addressed with science, speed, and collaboration.  No single entity can alone drive the transformative and widespread solutions we so critically need. That’s where Plastic IQ comes in.  Driven by data and free for all to use, it provides decision makers at U.S. companies with a common tool to advance real-time solutions.  By connecting the dots between goals, actions, and measurement, we believe Plastic IQ will accelerate the pace of meaningful change.”