Henkel North America has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative rooted in four ambitious goals intended to drive significant systems change by unifying diverse cross-sector approaches, setting a national strategy, and creating scalable solutions to create a path forward toward a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. The first North American Pact of its kind, the U.S. Pact is a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
As part of the U.S. Pact, activators like Henkel recognize that significant, systemwide change is imperative to realize a circular economy for plastics. As such, the U.S. Pact will convene more than 70 brands, retailers, NGOs, and government agencies across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to U.S. packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions for rethinking products, packaging, and business models.
“Henkel is committed to developing more intelligent packaging for the benefit of people and the planet. Our mission is to integrate materials from sustainable sources into intelligent designs to complete the circle,” said Jillaine Dellis, Head of Sustainability for Henkel North America’s Consumer Products business. “We are proud to join the U.S. Plastics Pact as a founding member, reinforcing Henkel’s own comprehensive commitments to develop solutions that minimize and manage plastic waste.”
As a founding Activator of the U.S. Plastics Pact, Henkel has agreed to collectively deliver against these four ambitious goals:
- Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025.
- By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
- 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%.
While the U.S. Pact is complementary to, and follows the ambitious precedents set by the existing global network of Plastic Pacts, it will be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the U.S. market. The Pact will reflect national priorities and realities, while still propelling the nation closer to other developed nations in its management of plastic waste.
“Together through the U.S. Plastics Pact, we will ignite system change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy,” says Sarah Dearman, Vice President of Circular Ventures for The Recycling Partnership. “The U.S. Pact will accelerate systemwide change by inspiring and supporting upstream innovation through a coordinated national strategy, creating a unified framework and enabling members to accelerate progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals. Members’ full participation will be vital to reaching our shared goals.”
Achieving this vision will require new levels of accountability from all facets of the plastics supply chain. The U.S. Pact emphasizes measurable change and as such, Henkel is committed to transparent, annual reporting, guided by WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which will be used to document annual progress against our four goals. The first task of the founding members of the U.S. Plastics Pact will be to establish a “roadmap” in Q1 2021 to identify key milestones and national solutions to achieving the U.S. targets and realize a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste.
Henkel North America’s consumer products businesses are well on their way to achieving the company’s global target of 100 percent of packaging being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The company also aims to reduce the amount of new plastics from fossil sources in its consumer products by 50% by 2025. To help avoid the disposal of waste into the environment, Henkel’s North America consumer products manufacturing facilities are also on target to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2021. As part of its broader sustainability strategy, the company has set global climate and energy commitments including being climate positive by 2040, with 2025 targets that include a 65% reduction of the CO2 emissions of its production, and a reduction of 100 million tons of CO2 saved together with its consumers, customers and suppliers.