Recycled Resin shortage might sabotage the sustainability goals of Big Brands
- 30-Mar-2022 5:11 PM
- Journalist: Bob Duffler
Many companies have promised to increase the recycled plastic content in their packaging by 2025, but the constrained supply of recycled resin is turning out to be a significant problem. There is not enough availability of post-consumer bales to meet the downstream demand. The ongoing discussions revolve around the possible solutions to the falling short supplies.
In the USA, the recycling of High-Density Polyethylene and Polyethylene Terephthalate has been occurring for the last 30 years, yet their recycling rates are static between 25% and 30%. Simultaneously, the rates of recycling for polypropylene strike even lower. The USA should double its post-consumer bales collection to achieve its promised goal of 25% recycled content into plastic packaging; recycled polypropylene requires even more effort.
A baseline report provided by the U.S. plastic pact sheds light on the progress made by organization member companies such as Coca-Cola, Walmart, and Unilever from the year 2020. The data on the given report was not looking great; these companies were incorporating only 7% of recycled content into the packaging in 2020 compared to their goal for 2025 is 25%. The report also suggested that only 37% of plastic packaging provided by these companies were compostable, reusable, or recyclable, while their goal is 100% for the year 2025.
According to the experts, rapid mobilization could solve the recycling content collection issues. Furthermore, asking stakeholders to provide their concord and mutually acknowledge the complex policies such as container deposit bills, post-consumer recycled content laws, and extended producer responsibility could significantly impact. This concern regarding solid demand and insufficient supply of post-consumer bales was the main topic in a conference organized by “Resource Recycling and the association of Plastic Recyclers” from 7th to 9th March in Maryland. Along with big companies pledging to incorporate recycled content into their packaging, states like California, New Jersey, and Washington imposed laws to introduce more recycled content into plastic packaging. The conference wants more states to take such actions and set similar rules.
Though the claimed goals are challenging to achieve, the recently taken actions regarding collections and the newly imposed laws in several states might make the thing a bit easier. Let’s think positively and keep our faith in these corporations and their policies to achieve their recycling goals by 2025.