Moving the goal posts – US Plastics Pact

70 large businesses in the states have agreed to delay key sustainability targets from 2025 to 2030.

The original pact had 4 targets:

  • –  Define a list of problematic and unnecessary packaging components and act to eliminate these
  • –  100% of plastic packaging should be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • –  50% of plastic packaging should be effectively recycled or composted
  • –  Members should achieve an average of 30% recycled plastic content or responsibly sourced bio-based content across all plastic packaging


Now only 48% of packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable and a mere 9.4% of packaging is made from recycled or bio-based content.

The solution is simple – move the target and blame the government, who pact members say should introduce extended producer responsibility legislation – but wait, aren’t these the same organisations that usually oppose EPR schemes?

Now the list of targets has been extended to include a commitment to reduce the absolute use of virgin plastic by 30% and to Identify viable reusable packaging systems and increase their implementation and scale – with reusable packaging accounting for 2% of the market – don’t hold your breath on this one.

Name and shame – members of the pact include: The Coca-Cola Company, The Clorox Company, Danone North America, General Mills, Henkel, Kraft Heinz, Keurig Dr Pepper, L’Oreal USA, Target, Walmart, Mars, Reckitt, Nestle and Mondelez International.

It’s time to admit that voluntary pacts don’t deliver results – everyone is happy to sign on and proudly advertise their support of such schemes – but where are the deliverables? We need organisations to be held accountable for their commitments – just like they expect their staff and suppliers to be!

More on the failure of the US Plastic Pact