Consumer goods manufacturers will need large quantities of chemically recycled plastics! This is what member companies of The Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste are stating in an open letter addressed to suppliers, regulators and investors.

The twelve companies - Amcor, Barilla, Colgate Palmolive, Danone, Ferrero, Haleon, Henkel, Mars, Incorporated, McCain Foods, Mondelēz International, PepsiCo, Unilever - estimate their needs and those of the other members of the coalition are about 800,000 tons of chemically recycled material per year by 2030, in addition to their needs for mechanically recycled materials.

An important technology

According to the Consumer Goods Forum system-level emissions would be approximately 40% lower in certain geographies and under certain conditions if at-scale chemical recycling was available to process hard-to-recycle plastics, rather than sending these plastics to waste-to-energy incinerators. The Coalition recognises that although chemical recycling technology is not a silver bullet, it will be an important technology which can serve a vital purpose for the recycling of unavoidable plastic waste which cannot be otherwise recycled mechanically.

By expressing their interest in procuring these materials, the member companies of the Coalition are sending a strong signal to regulators and investors of the need for scale in plastics chemical recycling infrastructure while meeting the necessary environmental safeguards laid out in the Coalition’s Vision and Principles paper. According to the Consumer Goods Forum, the demand for chemically recycled material does not reduce the need to continue the scale-up of mechanical recycling infrastructure. It is primarily focused on demand which cannot be met at scale by mechanically recycled materials today (e.g., food-contact flexible packaging applications).

The Consumer Goods Forum ("CGF") Coalition of Action on Plastic Waste was founded in 2020 with the aim of developing a more circular approach to the development and processing of plastic packaging in the consumer goods industry. The development of the Coalition builds off the CGF’s 2018 endorsement of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy.