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USA: Aldi joins U.S. Plastics Pact

Discount Retail Chain Aldi U.S. has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative group driven by The Recycling Partnership, the World Wildlife Fund and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that aims to get companies together to unify around the design, use and reuse of plastics.

Aldi U.S. has already outlined several goals such as making all of its store brand packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and Aldi U.K. also recently committed to reducing plastic packaging by half by the same year. By becoming a founding “Activator” of the U.S. Plastics Pact, Aldi U.S. joins more than 60 other brands, NGOs, government agencies and retailers who are coordinating initiatives to rethink how plastics are being used throughout the supply chain. The group has put together four goals so far:

  • Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by 2025;

  • By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable;

  • By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging; and

  • By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%. 

“Together through the U.S. Plastics Pact, we will ignite system change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy,” says Sarah Dearman, vice president of circular ventures for The Recycling Partnership. “The U.S. Pact will accelerate system-wide change by inspiring and supporting upstream innovation through a coordinated national strategy, creating a unified framework and enabling members to accelerate progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals. Members’ full participation will be vital to reaching our shared goals.” In addition to Aldi’s efforts to make its store brand packaging more sustainable, the company has also not offered single-use plastic grocery bags for more than four decades, and encourages shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. By company estimates, this has helped keep approximately 15 billion single-use plastic bags out of landfills and oceans.

The U.S. Plastics Pact emphasizes measurable change and as such, Aldi U.S. is committed to transparent, annual reporting, guided by WWF’s ReSource: Plastic Footprint Tracker, which will be used to document annual progress against the U.S. Plastics Pact’s four goals. The first task of the founding members of the U.S. Plastics Pact will be to establish a roadmap in Q1 2021 to identify key milestones and national solutions to achieving the U.S. targets and realize a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste.

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