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Retailers take on plastic waste

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NEW YORK — Ahold Delhaize has signed on to a global commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, officially unveiled last month at a conference in Bali, was signed by nearly 300 packaging producers, retailers and recyclers, representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally.

At the heart of the commitment is a vision of a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste. Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the global pledge’s vision, in collaboration with UN Environment, focuses on three key targets: Eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and moving from single-use to reuse packaging models; innovation to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled or composted by 2025; and circulating the plastic produced by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or recycled and making it into new packaging or products.

“There is tremendous potential for innovation in the transition to more recyclable and reusable plastics,” said Megan Hellstedt, vice president of sustainable retailing for Ahold Delhaize. “We are proud to be part of an initiative that will make it easier to design more sustainable packaging and reduce plastic waste.”

Other notable signees include Carrefour, Colgate-Palmolive, Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Co., L’Oréal, Marks and Spencer PLC, METRO AG, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SC Johnson, Target Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Unilever, Walmart U.S., Walmart Canada, Walmart Mexico and Sam’s Club and Woolworths Holding Ltd.

Those businesses signing the pledge will publish annual data on their progress to help drive momentum and ensure transparency. The commitment aims to create a “new normal” for plastic packaging.

“With this decision to accelerate our sustainability goals, Johnson & Johnson Consumer is acknowledging the ever-increasing urgency of the issue of plastic waste — and our own responsibility to work towards innovative solutions,” said Paulette Frank, worldwide vice president for environmental health, safety and sustainability at Johnson & ­Johnson.


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