Resource Recycling News

Brands make packaging commitments

A handful of top global brand owners have made or restated pledges to use or attempt to use only reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025.

Coca-Cola, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, Unilever and Werner & Mertz have taken the pledge, the New Plastics Economy (NPE) initiative announced this month.

For Coca-Cola, which produces pouches and cartons in addition to bottles and cans, it was an entirely new pledge. Coca-Cola said it is “building a more holistic packaging plan” that aims to ensure its packaging makes it to the recycling stream rather than ending up as litter, particularly in the ocean.

For most of the companies, the recent announcement reiterates previous commitments. Mars previously pledged to “design  our  packaging  to  be  100 percent  recyclable  or recoverable  by  2015,  where  infrastructure exists.” M&S earlier this year announced it would make its packaging “widely recyclable” by 2022. Pepsico announced in 2015 it would “strive to design 100 percent of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025.” Unilever also made the announcement early this year. Werner & Mertz already makes packaging that is 100 percent recyclable, according to the release.

But specific companies took their goals a step further in the recent press release.

M&S said it will introduce new products made with reclaimed plastics recovered through programs that provide a positive benefit to the communities the materials are sourced from. The brand also said it would look into making packaging from one polymer group by 2022, “to reduce consumer confusion and to improve recycling.”

PepsiCo said it would increase recycled content usage and work to improve recycling rates. Unilever committed to using at least 25 percent recycled plastic content in its packaging by 2025, and Werner & Mertz said it will aim to use 100 percent recycled content in all its packaging by then.

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