Innovation, Technology, Collaboration
Plastic plays a vital role in modern life. Too often it is not recycled or recovered, and far too much winds up in our rivers and oceans. America’s plastic makers are helping to drive change and modernize today’s plastic recycling systems. Designing waste out of our systems requires a sustained commitment and ongoing collaboration with government, major brands, nonprofits and other stakeholders. The status quo is not acceptable, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Reversing the current trend will require a sustained commitment to changing our approach to waste management and leveraging new and emerging technologies.
In the last three years, the private sector has announced $4.6 billion in investments and is collaborating with public officials, consumer product companies, nonprofits, and communities across the nation (and the world) to develop the technology and infrastructure that enable plastics to be reused – before they become waste. We’re making progress, using and reusing plastics more efficiently at every stage.
Based on a foundation of accelerated innovation, technology, and collaboration, we envision a future in which all plastics are recovered and repurposed to benefit people and our planet. And we will not stop working toward a world without plastic waste.
Go to Commonly Asked Questions
America’s plastic makers have committed to help make all U.S. plastic packaging recyclable by 2030 and to reuse, recycle, or recover all U.S. plastic packaging by 2040
America’s plastic makers have committed to help make all U.S. plastic packaging recyclable by 2030 and to reuse, recycle, or recover all U.S. plastic packaging by 2040, which will keep these valuable materials out of our environment and in productive use.
Keeping this commitment requires improving and scaling existing and new technologies – such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and infrared optics – and helping modernize today’s outdated recycling systems.
But even more innovative approaches are needed. In the last three years, plastic makers and others have announced $4.6 billion in investments for improving recycling, including new kinds of technologies that can take a product and remake it into something entirely new, breaking plastics down into their basic building blocks. These reusable building blocks then are repurposed to make valuable raw materials that are used to create brand new plastics, transportation fuels for airplanes and vehicles, and basic chemicals for new manufacturing.
This approach allows us to recover and repurpose the inherent value in used plastics. These technologies can reduce the amount of virgin material needed to meet the world’s demand for plastics – and lead us closer to our goal of ending plastic waste. By extending the life of plastics, we’re building a more circular economy and a more sustainable society.
These efforts are further enhanced by our industry working with waste management companies, consumer brands, retailers, non-profits and governments to develop and implement solutions. Many of these companies helped to establish the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which has committed $1.5 billion over five years toward solving the problem through infrastructure, education, innovation and clean up.
Our commitment is bold, and these collective investments of more than $6 billion are just the start. Working together we can achieve a world without plastic waste.
Plastic makers and others have announced $4.6 billion in investments to improve recycling.
The Path Forward
Throughout our history, people have used science and technology to develop solutions to many pressing problems, contributing significantly to human safety and sustainability. We’re now leveraging these same capabilities to end plastic waste.
Harnessing the resources of some of the world’s most innovative companies, we’re working to develop the range of solutions needed to end plastic waste. Plastics makers are collaborating with others to use plastics more efficiently, design products and packaging that are easier to recycle, and reduce the environmental footprint of plastic products. We’re forging new business models and promoting smarter public policies. And we’re investing in infrastructure to keep used plastics in productive use and out of our environment.
Only by working together with the right approaches, which includes a sustained commitment to changing the status quo and investing in innovation, can we achieve our goal of ending plastic waste in the environment.
Harnessing the resources of some of the world’s most innovative companies, we’re working to develop the range of solutions needed to end plastic waste.