A new report from As You Sow (Berkeley, Calif.), a nonprofit that aims to increase corporate environmental and social responsibility, calls for companies to shift away from single-use packaging and take steps to “prioritize significant, absolute reductions in overall use of plastic.”
The report, Waste & Opportunity 2020, asks companies to use packaging that can be better reused, recycled, or composted. It ranks 50 major companies on their sustainable packaging and recycling efforts.
Plastics manufacturers “fully support” companies that want to eliminate plastic waste and improve the circularity of their packaging, according to a response from the plastics division of the American Chemistry Council (Washington, D.C.). That group’s goal is for all U.S. plastic packaging to be recyclable or recoverable by 2030 and to be reused, recycled or recovered by 2040, it says.
ACC does not support efforts to fully eliminate plastic packaging, however, because plastic alternatives could create unintended environmental impacts, it says. Plastic packaging is lighter than some alternatives and allows companies to package more products using less material, which can help reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, ACC says. Instead, ACC asks companies to redesign plastic packaging to make it more reusable and adopt business models that incorporate “greater reuse and recycling.” Recycling infrastructure also needs to be modernized to more efficiently recycle plastics, it says. Visit www.asyousow.org/report-page/waste-and-opportunity-2020-searching-corporate-leadership or www.americanchemistry.com.