Today, Nestlé helped launch The U.S. Plastics Pact's (“U.S. Pact”) “Roadmap to 2025,” an aggressive national strategy illustrating how the U.S. Pact, Nestlé and fellow signatories, known as Activators, will achieve each of the U.S. Pact’s four 2025 targets through specific actions, responsibilities, and interim timeframes to realize a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025.
Launched in August 2020, The U.S. Plastics Pact is a consortium led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact network, which unites a holistic ecosystem of cross-industry stakeholders behind a common vision and national strategy to address plastic waste at its source by 2025.
“Creating a waste-free future demands collective action, and the U.S. Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 is an essential step towards creating a circular economy for plastics,” said Molly Fogarty, Senior Vice President of Government and Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Champion. “We are thrilled to partner with other Activators to turn our ambitious targets into action, and to go further than any of us can go alone in our mission to tackle plastic waste.”
As an Activator of the U.S. Pact, Nestlé joins other stakeholders across the plastics value chain in achieving systemic change and accelerating progress toward the following 2025 targets by inspiring and supporting upstream innovation through coordinated initiatives such as rethinking products, packaging, and business models in order to transition away from today’s take-make-waste model to a circular economy where plastics never become waste:
- Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
- 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.
- By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging.
- By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%.
Nestlé is aggressively working toward ambitions that closely align to the targets of the U.S. Pact, and plans to invest up to $2 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics. By 2025 Nestlé will:
- Make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable.
- Reduce its use of virgin plastic by one third.
In addition to designing its packaging to be recyclable, Nestlé is making its packaging more “fit for purpose” by removing packaging deemed problematic or unnecessary. The company removed the cardboard circle from select DiGiorno® pizza SKUs, saving 4.5 million pounds of cardboard, the equivalent of 49,000 trees per year. Nestlé is advocating for policies and investing in efforts that seek to improve U.S. recycling infrastructure and keep valuable materials in packaging supply chains. In 2020, Nestlé invested $30 million in the Closed Loop Leadership Fund to increase recycling rates and secure access to high-quality, food-grade recycled plastics which can be converted into new packaging material for use across its product portfolio. Nestlé champions policies that seek to increase access to recycling, reduce leakage into the environment and reduce the use of virgin plastic.
The U.S. Pact’s Roadmap is designed to kick-start action and help U.S. industry leaders and packaging producers develop a national strategy, advance shared goals, and measure the strength of progress through annual reporting. This national strategy will assist Pact Activators in reaching ambitious goals by 2025 that they could not otherwise meet on their own through sharing knowledge, optimizing investments, identifying gaps, overcoming systemic barriers, and implementing policies.
“The current state of U.S. infrastructure, coupled with the lack of incentives to utilize recycled content in plastic packaging, have put immense strain on the value chain,” said Emily Tipaldo, Executive Director, The U.S. Plastics Pact. “The Roadmap is designed to help U.S. industry leaders act on the significant, systemwide change needed to realize a circular economy for plastics by 2025. The timeframe is short, and the workload is immense, but if we choose to do nothing, the visions of a circular economy across the U.S. will give way to the status quo. We look forward to working with all our Activators to drive this critical change.”
The Roadmap holds Nestlé and other Activators of the U.S. Pact accountable to sustainability objectives by creating the pathway in which companies, governments, and NGOs can successfully ensure that plastics remain in the U.S. economy and out of the environment for years to come.
About The Recycling Partnership
The Recycling Partnership is the action agent transforming the U.S. residential recycling system for good. Our team operates at every level of the recycling value chain and works on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain, from working with companies to make their packaging more circular and help them meet climate and sustainability goals, to working with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of the U.S. recycling system, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 375 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 968 million gallons of water, avoided more than 420,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at recyclingpartnership.org.
About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis.
About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact Network
Since 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative has rallied businesses and governments behind a positive vision of a circular economy for plastic. Its 2016 and 2017 New Plastics Economy reports captured worldwide headlines, revealing the financial and environmental costs of waste plastic and pollution.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact Network is a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution, which enables vital knowledge sharing and coordinated action. It is a network of national and regional (multi-country) initiatives which brings together key stakeholders to implement solutions towards a circular economy for plastic, tailored to each geography. Each initiative is led by a local organisation and unites businesses, government institutions, NGOs and citizens behind a common vision, with an ambitious set of local targets.