London, November 2, 2022 - According to the latest Progress Report on the Global Commitment to the New Plastic Economy, enterprises may not be able to fulfill their commitment to use "100% reusable, recyclable or compostable" plastic packaging by 2025.
The assessment progress of the global commitment shows that, in view of the large-scale use of plastic flexible packaging and the insufficient investment in waste collection and recycling facilities, most of the contracted enterprises are difficult to achieve their 2025 goal, that is, to ensure that all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Alan The 2022 Global Commitment Progress Report jointly prepared by the MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme highlights the following points:
In the past three years, the use of recycled ingredients in plastic packaging has doubled, maintaining a strong growth momentum
Since 2018, more than half of the contracted enterprises have reduced the use of raw plastics, but in 2021, the total use of raw plastics from the global contracted enterprises will rise again, returning to the level of 2018
The proportion of reusable plastic packaging dropped slightly to an average of 1.2%.
Four years after the launch of the Global Commitment to the New Plastic Economy, the 2022 progress report shows that the practices and progress of each signatory are different.
The proportion of post consumer recycled ingredients in plastic packaging has risen from 4.8% in 2018 to 10.0% in 2021. In the past, it took decades of efforts for enterprises to achieve the utilization ratio of recycled materials to reach 5%, and the signatories of the global commitment doubled this figure to 10% in just three years.
To achieve the overall goal of 26% by 2025, brands and retailers must continue to redouble their efforts to increase the use of recycled plastics. Although some enterprises have fulfilled the set goals in advance, some enterprises still need to increase their efforts.
Since 2018, more than half (59%) of brands and retailers have started to reduce the use of native plastics. However, due to the rising demand of some enterprises with huge plastic packaging consumption, the consumption of primary plastic will increase by 2.5% in 2021, reversing the downward trend in 2019 and 2020.
The reason for the increase in the amount of primary plastic is that the total amount of plastic packaging in some enterprises is still increasing. This trend once again emphasizes the need for enterprises to decouple their growth from the use of plastic packaging.
In 2021, a few global brands announced the quantitative goal of increasing the amount of reusable packaging for the first time. However, 42% of the contracting parties have not yet introduced any reuse patterns in their packaging strategies.
Many enterprises have made a lot of investment efforts in achieving 100% technical recyclability of hard plastic packaging. However, due to the incomplete infrastructure of waste collection and classification worldwide, such investment cannot help enterprises achieve the goal of 100% recyclability.
Plastic flexible packaging (such as small bags and films) is a major challenge in the transformation of plastic circular economy. Due to the difficulties in large-scale recycling of such packaging in practical operation, flexible packaging is also the key reason why most enterprises cannot achieve the goal of "100% reusable, recyclable or compostable" plastic packaging in 2025.
The signed brands and retailers still have the potential to make important positive contributions to solving the plastic pollution crisis.
To this end, they must formulate more ambitious strategies, expand the reuse plan, increase innovation, eliminate the use of plastic flexible packaging to the maximum extent, and reduce disposable packaging. Recycling alone is not enough to curb the trend of plastic pollution.
On a global scale, governments of all countries are increasingly supporting the development of legally binding international conventions to solve the plastic pollution crisis. However, all countries need to accelerate the introduction of relevant policies to promote the transformation of plastic circular economy.
The world has committed that 52 governments at all levels have signed contracts, covering a population of 1 billion people. More than 500 enterprises, governments, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions have joined forces to realize the common vision of plastic circular economy. Alan The MacArthur Foundation and the United Nations Environment Programme will continue to work with participants to address the plastic pollution crisis.
Sander, director of the plastic initiative at the Allen MacArthur Foundation Sander Defruyt said: "The global commitment will continue to provide unprecedented transparency and guide large enterprises to deal with the plastic pollution crisis. Our latest report also shows that enterprises and governments still need to make more efforts.
Enterprises need to develop reliable and ambitious plans to expand the scale of reuse, deal with the problem of flexible packaging, and reduce the demand for disposable packaging. The Government must also take action to help accelerate progress.
At the same time, we must work together to accelerate the formation of a global treaty on plastic pollution control. Recently, Alan The Global Plastic Treaty Business Alliance jointly launched by the MacArthur Foundation and WWF is committed to helping governments seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "
Eng, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Inger Andersen said: "The information disclosed by the global commitment makes us understand that there is still a huge gap in current efforts. Obviously, in the process of enterprises' efforts to fulfill the commitment, there are still huge challenges. As countries negotiate on an international treaty to eliminate plastic pollution, the global commitment provides an important framework for this.
By joining the global commitment and participating in the process as early as possible, Governments can identify priority areas to effectively eliminate plastic pollution and accelerate progress. We are pleased to see that since the beginning of 2022, 34 more national and local governments from all continents have decided to join the global commitment. "