Ellen MacArthur Foundation releases fourth report

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme has started the Global Commitment and Plastic Pact network to tackle plastic pollution at the source. The Foundation released a report to showcase the progress they have made to meet targets by 2025.

11 Jan 2023 | By Pooja Mahesh

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, has started the Global Commitment and Plastic Pact network

The signatories to the Global Commitment report, which together account for more than 20% of the plastic packaging market, have set ambitious targets that they are looking to meet by 2025.  The Global Commitment has already mobilised over 500 signatories that are determined to start building a circular economy for plastic. These include companies representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally, some of which are well-known consumer businesses like L’Oréal and Nestlé; retailers like Walmart; packaging producers like Berry Global; and resource management specialist company, Veolia.

To highlight the progress the signatories are making, the Foundation released its fourth annual report. This report highlights the progress that the signatories have made over the years. It has been noted that while strong progress is being made in some areas, key 2025 targets are expected to be missed. In addition to this observation, the report also shared detailed insights about the progress made and what will need to be done to meet some of the targets.

As per the Foundation, "Businesses across various industries have been looking at ways of incorporating sustainability. Several businesses have started to implement policies and put them into practice." While doing so, they are looking at ways in which existing plastic can be responsibly reused so that it does not add on to the growing plastic pollution crisis.

Through the Global Commitment, businesses and governments commit to change how plastic is produced and reused. They will be working towards eliminating plastic items that are not needed, innovate so that all the plastic we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything we use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment. This helps to tackle plastic pollution at the source.

Though some targets may not be met in time, there are some areas that the report has found advancement. It has been observed that the signatories have made strong progress on using more recycled plastics. This has led to brand and retail signatories doubling their use of recycled content in three years. However, the target of 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging may be missed as some signatories are finding flexible packaging and lack of infrastructure to be the main barrier to achieving this completely.

The report also highlighted that not meeting all 2025 targets should motivate businesses to urgently accelerate their actions particularly around reuse, flexible packaging, and decoupling business growth from packaging use. Hence, they will need to develop and execute an ambitious reuse strategy with credible action plans that can lead to reuse models being deployed at scale. With the aim of reducing plastic waste being the main goal, businesses will need to accelerate investments in infrastructure and packaging redesign to ensure 100% recyclability for rigid plastic packaging. Additionally, to reduce use of virgin plastics, businesses will need to significantly increase the use of recycled plastics but also curb the growth in total plastic packaging use.

While businesses will need to take appropriate measures to meet some of the targets, governments will also need to take immediate action to accelerate progress. Policies to end plastic pollution will need to be implemented vigorously as voluntary industry efforts alone will not be enough.

As per the Foundation, "The Global Commitment will continue to drive progress, provide unprecedented transparency, and inform legislation. Continuing to drive progress with those businesses that have voluntarily committed to ambitious targets is essential to progress the transition to a circular economy for plastics." The insights of the Global Commitment will continue to inform policymakers and drive systemic change beyond organisations doing so voluntarily.


The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme, has started the Global Commitment and Plastic Pact network. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a charity that explores how circular economy principles are being put into practice today across stakeholders and sectors. The Foundation creates resources, publications and tools that help set effective policies, find new ways to do business and design better products.

 
 

 

Latest Poll

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Results

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes

 

33.33%

Corrugated boxes

 

33.33%

Paper bags

 

33.33%

Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)

 

0%

Total Votes : 3

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