Retailers including Aldi and Walmart are among more than 60 organisations that have committed to the new US Plastics Pact, pledging to create a circular economy for plastic through efforts to advance packaging, improve recycling, and reduce plastic waste.

The new US version of the initiative spearheaded by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation joins similar initiatives already operating in the UK, Chile, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and South Africa.

The US Pact is led by The Recycling Partnership, with the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with signatories including businesses, government agencies, NGOs, universities, trade bodies and investors. 

Members of the first Plastics Pact in North America, aim to:

  • Define a list of plastic packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021, and take measures to eliminate them by 2025;
  • Ensure all plastic packaging will be 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025;
  • Undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging by 2025; and
  • Ensure the average proportion of recycled content or responsibly-sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging reaches 30% by 2025.

Progress against these targets will be reported publicly on an annual basis.

"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," says Sander Defruyt, new plastics economy lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The first national initiatives in the Plastics Pact networks are: The UK Plastics Pact, led by WRAP; the Pacte National sur les emballages plastiques in France led by ConsultantSeas; Circula El Plástico in Chile led by the Ministry of Environment with the non-profit corporation Fundación Chile; and the Plastic Pact NL in the Netherlands led by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Earlier in 2020, the first African Pact joined the network, The South African Plastics Pact, led by Green Cape; as well as the Portuguese Plastics Pact led by Smart Waste Portugal.