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SC Johnson Tackles Plastics Pollution with Packaging Pledge and New Recycling Centers

Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, displays a piece of plastic he found in the water

SC Johnson has pledged to make 100% of its plastic packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The announcement is part of a series of commitments the company announced today in terms of addressing the “global crisis” of ocean plastics. The company joins the ranks of other consumer-facing companies that have made similar commitments in recent months, including Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo and Nestle.

Sealed Air Corporation also announced a plastics pledge today, saying it will “design and advance their innovative packaging solutions to be 100% recyclable or reusable by 2025.” The company will accelerate its use of recycled materials and expand reuse models for packaging.

New Recycling Centers

SC Johnson will address the issue of ocean plastics by increasing recycling rates in Indonesia with the opening of eight recycling centers, the company says. It will partner with Plastic Bank, an organization that focuses on reducing ocean plastics and increasing recycling rates in impoverished communities across Indonesia, on the recycling centers.

SC Johnson has also signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eradicate plastic waste and pollution at the source. This new commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, has been signed by 250 organizations including packaging producers, brands, retailers and recyclers, as well as governments and NGOs.

The New Plastics Economy was an initiative originally launched in 2016 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and backed at launch by major companies including Amcor, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical and Mars. The group aims to take a “circular economy approach to plastics” and to increase recycling and reuse rates around the world. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a report upon its launch, The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics, that outlined its approach.

The issue of ocean plastics is a global crisis, SC Johnson says: the equivalent of one dump truck load every minute enters the world’s oceans, mainly from Asian countries. The Indonesian government has just pledged to provide $1 billion per year to reduce plastic pollution.

Other companies that have made similar pledges in terms of packaging include:

Danone said that all its packaging will be designed to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Moreover, the company said it will develop alternative delivery models or new reuse models where relevant and eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging.

Tetra Pak’s recently released sustainability report notes that its long-term ambition is that the company’s entire packaging material portfolio will be made from 100% renewable materials.

In August, DS Smith pledged to manufacture 100% reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025, saying that it has worked with a range of external stakeholders to identify and understand the areas it could have the greatest impact in supporting customers with their own sustainability objectives.

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