ALDI U.S. has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact, a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative aimed at creating a path towards a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. The first North American Pact of its kind, the U.S. Plastics Pact is a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Ellen MacArthur Foundation and sets a strategy to create scalable solutions across sectors in an effort to drive significant change.
As part of the U.S. Plastics Pact, retailers like ALDI U.S. recognize that significant, system-wide change is imperative to realize a circular economy for plastics. As such, the U.S. Plastics Pact will convene more than 60 brands, NGOs, government agencies and retailers, like ALDI, across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to U.S. packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions for rethinking products, packaging and business models.
“The global impact of plastics use cannot and should not be ignored by any business,” says Joan Kavanaugh, Vice President of Corporate Buying at ALDI U.S. “At ALDI, we’ve already begun finding ways to eliminate the plastics we don’t need and are innovating to uncover ways in which the plastics we do need can be kept in the economy and out of the environment – but we want to do even more. We are thrilled to join the U.S. Plastics Pact and look forward to collaborating with its other members to drive action toward large-scale, collective change among the grocery industry and beyond.”
As a founding member of the U.S. Plastics Pact, ALDI U.S., along with other members of the pact, has agreed to contribute toward these four ambitious goals:
- Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them by
- By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or
- By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic
- By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%.
While the U.S. Plastics Pact is complementary to, and follows the ambitious precedents set by the existing global network of Plastic Pacts, it will be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the U.S. market. The U.S pact will reflect national priorities and realities, while still propelling the nation closer to other developed nations in its management of plastic waste.
“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.”
ALDI U.S. has prioritized addressing the global impact of plastics from the onset. In addition to the U.S. Plastics Pact ambitions, ALDI U.S. has committed to making its private brand packaging more sustainable through its focus on recyclability across all operations, overall plastics reduction efforts and supplier partnerships to improve fiber sourcing.
Additionally, ALDI U.S. has 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 progressive business decision has helped keep approximately 15 billion single-use plastic bags out of landfills and oceans.
Achieving the U.S. Plastics Pact’s vision will require new levels of accountability from all facets of the plastics supply chain. 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.