Brands such as L'Oréal pledged to reduce plastic waste through a variety of...

Brands such as L’Oréal pledged to reduce plastic waste through a variety of targets, such as eliminating single-use plastic from supply chains. Photo: © AfriramPOE /

Over 290 member organizations of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) signed The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment Program, on October 29, 2018.

Detailed targets

The document aims to reduce plastic waste through a variety of targets, such as eliminating single-use plastic from supply chains and ensuring that 100 percent of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025.

L’Oréal, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate Palm olive and Unilever are three of the beauty giants to have signed the commitment, while big-name signatories from the fashion world include H&M, Burberry and Stella McCartney. Packaging producers such as Albéa, the world’s leading manufacturer of packaging for the beauty industry, are also among the signatories. Others range from Nestlé and Coca-Cola Femsa to Walmart and Target, with the total list of signatories representing 20 percent of all packaging produced globally.

"We know that cleaning up plastics from our beaches and oceans is vital, but this does not stop the tide of plastic entering the oceans each year," said Dame Ellen MacArthur, who announced the commitment at the ’Our Ocean Conference’ in Bali on 29 and 30 October 2018. "We need to move upstream to the source of the flow. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment draws a line in the sand, with businesses, governments and others around the world uniting behind a clear vision for what we need to create a circular economy for plastic."

Annual reports

Brands that have signed the commitment will report their progress every year, as targets become more ambitious.

"We are embracing the issue of packaging reform as both a challenge to do better and an opportunity to do good," said Alison Lewis, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Johnson & Johnson Consumer. "We believe this initiative can be a powerful catalyst for driving meaningful changes in our behavior as a company-as well as the behavior of consumers themselves."

"The challenge of plastic waste is real and urgent. We’re committed to doing our part to ensure the plastic we need is safely and economically, reused, recycled or composted,” added Ian Cook, Chairman and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive.

The CGF members that have signed the declaration are committed to working together in three areas: packaging design, consumer engagement and recycling systems.

Plastic waste is becoming a big issue for the consumer goods industry, including the cosmetics and personal care sector. At the latest Luxe Pack Monaco trade show, several packaging suppliers have showcased alternative solutions using biosourced, recycled or upcycled materials, as well as refillable packaging solutions specially designed for high-end products.