Cleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 16th March 2023 Issue no. 1056
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SC Johnson accelerates progress boosting plastic recycling and reuse
This week, SC Johnson announced a series of commitments to further reduce its own plastic footprint, by boosting recycled plastic content in its packaging, supporting reuse of plastic bottles through concentrated refills, and launching an effort to make Ziploc bags recyclable at curbside.
Ocean plastic has reached a global crisis level, with eight million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean every year - the equivalent of one dump truck load every minute. Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson, witnessed this pollution himself on a dive recently in Indonesia.
"It is amazing to see firsthand the natural beauty and diversity of our oceans, and to fully appreciate what's at stake here," he says. "I think it's incredibly important that business, governments, civil society and people around the globe work together to solve this really important problem for humanity.
"At SC Johnson, being an environmental leader has been a principle we have worked hard at for generations. With the increasing spotlight on the global plastic waste crisis, we wanted to share our efforts externally. We hope they inspire other companies to take similar steps toward a circular plastic economy, because the planet simply cannot sustain the status quo."
The organisation has a longstanding commitment to preserving the environment and has been working to improve the sustainability and circularity of its plastic products for more than a decade. Now it has announced a series of commitments in accordance with the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to reduce its own plastic footprint, and encourage reuse and recycling of plastic products. These include:
* 100% of its plastic packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Currently, 90% of its plastic packaging is designed to be recyclable, reusable or compostable.
* Triple the amount of post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content in its packaging by 2025. The company will increase its use of PCR plastic in its packaging from 10 million kilograms to more than 30 million kilograms by 2025. As part of this, SC Johnson will increase the percentage of PCR plastic that it uses in its North American and European bottles from 20% today to 40% by 2025.
* Expand the number of concentrated refill options for SC Johnson products by 2025.
* Continue to remove excess plastics wherever possible. The company has been relentlessly focused on designing unnecessary packaging out of its products. From 2011 to 2017, it has removed 9.5 million kilograms of materials from its packaging.
* Champion curbside recycling of plastic film. The company will continue its effort to make curbside recycling of flexible plastic film such as Ziploc brand bags a reality in the US.
* Work with industry and other organisations to support circular plastic economy models. It will also work with industry and NGOs to further support the circular plastic economy and keep plastic out of landfills and the environment.
Creating a circular plastic economy isn't just about products. It's also about transformative change across industry. SC Johnson has spent years working with recycling industry experts to understand barriers for recycling and find solutions to overcome them.
Most recently, in 2018 the company launched Ziploc brand recycled trash bags, proving that recycled plastic film can be diverted away from landfills and reused for valuable new items instead. The bags are the first made with 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic film collected through a US recycling centre.
Like its Greenlist ingredient selection program and investments to fight deforestation, the company also has a systematic approach to reducing plastic waste.
The company's SC Johnson Professional products, used in settings such as hospitals and hotels, minimise waste. SC Johnson patented a reusable cleaning bottle with recyclable concentrated liquid refill cartridges. Each bottle is designed for 250,000 trigger pulls and each cartridge replaces 16 single-use bottles, on average.
1st November 2018