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Businesses, Governments Falling Short on Stopping Plastic Pollution

Study says key goals for 2025 likely won’t be met

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Driven by the goal of tackling plastic pollution at its source, more than 1,000 businesses, governments and other organizations have united behind a common vision of creating a “circular economy” for plastic, in which it never becomes waste.

Signatories to the Global Commitment and Plastic Pact network, which together account for more than 20 percent of the plastic packaging market, have set ambitious 2025 targets to help realize that common vision.

But the fourth annual progress report on that effort, just released by the Ellen McArthur Foundation — which is dedicated to accelerating the transition to a circular economy in a variety of industries — finds that the signatories are coming up short when it comes to achieving their goals.

Among other findings, the report shows:

1) While strong progress is being made in some areas, key 2025 targets are likely to be missed. “The target of 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable plastic packaging will almost certainly be missed by most organizations, with flexible packaging and lack of infrastructure being the main barrier,” the report states.

2) The likelihood that not all 2025 targets will be reached “reinforces the urgency for businesses to accelerate action, particularly around reuse, flexible packaging and decoupling business growth from packaging use.”

3) “Governments need to take immediate action” considering the results.

Participating packaged goods companies in the network include Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper, Keurig, L’Oréal, PepsiCo, SC Johnson and Unilever.

Click here to read the full report.

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