Report Evaluates Progress on Plastic Footprints for Several of World’s Biggest Brands

WWF

Today, World Wildlife Fund’s ReSource: Plasticprogram released its third annual public report, Transparent 2022, revealing how some of the world’s largest brands are measuring up to their commitments to tackle the plastic waste crisis.

Examining the plastic footprints of ReSource Members Amcor, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Keurig Dr Pepper, McDonald’s Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, and The Coca-Cola Company, the report reviewed progress from 2020 to 2021. Transparent 2022also includes baseline data for CVS Health, a new Member this year. Among the year-over-year findings for legacy Members were positive incremental improvements across aspects of their supply chains including an overall reduction of problematic plastics by 3,100 metric tons, and a 35% increase in the use of recycled content. Moreover, in the past year, ReSource Members have taken critical actions to support the widescale adoption of reuse systems while advocating to advance a global plastic treaty and investing in innovative solutions and business models to support the transition to circularity.

However, despite this progress, the total tonnage of plastic produced by these companies increased by 5.3% in 2021, due in part to a rebound in volumes after pandemic-related declines. More context exploring these findings, including probable causes, impacts and next steps is available here. The report highlights the progress across Member companies ‘beyond their supply chain’ activities, which are efforts not necessarily reflected in the annual plastic portfolio results, but instead, is a direct response to the data-driven recommendations made in previous Transparent reports.

“ReSource members are taking their plastic waste footprint seriously and being transparent about how they are working to address it. Measurement and data sharing are critical first steps. The next, more challenging step is ramping up the pace of progress,” said Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste and Business at World Wildlife Fund. “There is a path forward. This will be difficult but it’s still very possible to meet our goals. The investments we’re seeing beyond the supply chain are a good example of the ambition I want to see in all areas, and they will continue to accelerate the systems change we need to solve the global plastics crisis.”

While companies can and should continue to accelerate progress in their own direct supply chains, the report stresses the importance of continuing advocacy for systemic change. Policy changes at local, regional, national, and international levels can help Members achieve higher rates of recycled content, materials recovery, and reduce mismanagement. These considerations must be part of each company’s holistic plastic portfolio to maximize their individual efforts.

ReSource was launched in 2019 with the goal of tapping into the potential for 100 companies to prevent up to 50M metric tons of plastic waste by closing the “how” gap for corporate action on the plastic waste crisis. The Transparentreporting series is the primary reporting tool to support ReSource’s effort to close this gap by helping companies measure, maximize, and multiply their potential for impact on the plastic waste crisis. Through an innovative measurement framework that examines year-over-year changes in ReSource Members’ plastic footprints, this annual publication provides recommendations for action that has the potential to catalyze systems-change, both internal to company supply chains and across wider multi-stakeholder efforts.

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About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

WWF is one of the world’s leading conservation organizations, working in nearly 100 countries for over half a century to help people and nature thrive. With the support of more than 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat the climate crisis. Visit https://www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter and signing up for our newsletter and news alerts here.

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MEMBER QUOTES

Amcor:

“It’s great to see the progress being made by Transparent members as we work towards a future for packaging that is circular by design. The findings of this year’s report reflect the need to continue developing effective waste management infrastructure and public policy to ensure valuable materials remain in the economy and out of the environment. They also affirm Amcor’s global partnership strategy, which focuses on recycling infrastructure and consumer engagement as a crucial component of our work to develop all our packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025 and to achieve 30% recycled material across our portfolio by the end of the decade.”

– David Clark, Vice President, Sustainability at Amcor

Colgate-Palmolive:

“Colgate-Palmolive’s partnership with WWF’s ReSource program has been invaluable. It provides necessary tools, information, and collaboration towards Colgate-Palmolive’s sustainability ambition to Eliminate Plastic Waste as well as our purpose to reimagine a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet.”

– Ann Tracy, Chief Sustainability Officer, Colgate-Palmolive

Keurig Dr Pepper:

“Keurig Dr Pepper’s vision is a future in which the materials we use can be recycled, reused or repurposed. In support of this vision, we are making progress against our ambitious 2025 packaging goals, including the increase use of post-consumer recycled content in our plastic portfolio from 2% in 2020 to 11% in 2021. Through smart design, virgin plastic reduction strategies and recycling infrastructure investments, we are working to deliver on our vision while collaborating with WWF and our peers at ReSource: Plastic for common measurement and transparent disclosure.”

– Monique Oxender, Chief Sustainability Officer, Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.

Kimberly-Clark:

“Growth in our personal care business combined with supply chain challenges and affordability of current solutions have created headwinds to advancing our plastic footprint reduction goals. Despite this, we doubled the percentage of recycled content in our plastics packaging in 2021 and are continuing to pursue innovative partnerships across our value chain to expedite our move to more sustainable materials and processes as we deliver Kimberly-Clark’s purpose of Better Care for a Better World.”

– Lisa Morden, Vice President of Safety, Sustainability & Occupational Health, Kimberly-Clark

McDonald’s:

“As McDonald’s continues to advance circular and sustainable packaging solutions, we’re grateful for WWF’s leadership in driving transparency and progress to reduce plastics pollution. Working shoulder to shoulder across an industry is essential to facing the global plastics challenge – an issue that impacts everyone – and we’re heartened by the collective action of our partners and peers. The ReSource: Plastic program and Transparent 2022 report are valuable tools that help all of us identify opportunities to increase the scale and impact of a circular economy approach to packaging and waste.”

– Jenny McColloch, Chief Sustainability Officer, McDonald’s

Procter & Gamble:

“Our brands, suppliers and partners continue to collaborate on a wide-range of sustainable solutions to reduce waste and drive circularity so that plastic is collected, recycled and reused. This is a complex global challenge that requires a comprehensive, collaborative approach across the entire plastics lifecycle. We appreciate the WWF’s ReSource: Plastics program with data-driven recommendations to help drive industry focus on high impact actions to help keep plastic in-use and out of our environment.”

– Jack Mcaneny, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Procter & Gamble

Starbucks:

“In 2020, Starbucks committed to become a resource-positive company and set an ambitious goal to reduce carbon, water and waste by 50% by 2030. In the past year, we’ve made strides towards our waste target by launching more than 20 trials of reusable and returnable cup programs around the globe, reducing plastic in our hot cups by 25%, and collaborating with supply chain partners on innovations to unlock access to food grade recycled content. We still have work to do to meet our goals and decouple our plastic usage from our business growth. We are excited to unlock reusable cups for our customers to lead us into the circular economy of the future. It will take continued collaboration across the private sector, NGOs, governments and programs like ReSource to provide valuable insights in order to drive sustainable change at scale.”

-Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer, Starbucks

The Coca-Cola Company

“As a global beverage company, we are focused on our entire packaging lifecycle and taking action through our World Without Waste program. While we recognize the progress highlighted in the Transparent 2022report, we are also committed to doing more, faster because the plastic waste challenge remains significant. This year, we set an industry-leading goal to significantly boost our use of reusable packaging, and we support the global treaty on plastic pollution. Collaboration across sectors as demonstrated by WWF’s ReSource: Plastic program is critical to move the needle, holistically address key challenges and create a sustainable, efficient circular economy for packaging.”

– Michael Goltzman, Global Vice President, Public Policy, Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact

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