Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative rooted in four ambitious goals intended to drive systemic change by bringing together a diverse group of participants from different sectors to work together on creating scalable solutions that can pave the way for 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 Mondelēz International 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.
“We believe that sector-wide initiatives, in collaboration with government, are key to reducing the impact of packaging on our planet,” said Christine Montenegro McGrath, Vice President and Chief of Sustainability and Global Impact at Mondelēz International. “In joining The U.S. Plastics Pact, we are proud to continue to be a part of collectively advancing a unified approach to creating scalable solutions for a circular economy for plastics in the United States.”
As a founding Activator of the U.S. Plastics Pact, Mondelēz International 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, Mondelēz International 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.
The announcement marks an important step forward in Mondelēz International’s ambition to create positive impact for people and planet and achieve zero-net waste packaging. As part of a long-term commitment to reduce environmental impact, the company set 2025 packaging innovation targets to ensure 100% of packaging is designed to be recycled, contains on-pack recycling information and contributes to the company’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions. Today, 93% of the company’s total packaging, both plastic and non-plastic, including packaging of iconic snack brands Toblerone and belVita, are designed to be recycled. And beyond this significant progress the announcement advances the company’s leadership role in calling for and participating in sector-wide collaboration to identify and scale up innovation, harmonize packaging formats to make recycling easier and improve waste management infrastructure.