Clorox Joins U.S. Plastics Pact, Takes Meaningful Step to Achieve Important Environmental Goals

By Paula Alexander, Senior Director of Sustainability

Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit Clorox

Clorox’s Matt Kopac, Paula Alexander and Ed Huber set sail with the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network in 2019

“The last time we were together, we were on a boat somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.”

That’s how I started a recent meeting  where Ed Huber, Clorox Chief Sustainability Officer, and I reconnected with members of the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network.

Back in May 2019, Ed and I joined a group of about 150 individuals from throughout the plastics value chain for an Atlantic boat trip with the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network. The voyage was an immersion event to spark collaboration and system-wide change to help solve the ocean plastic crisis.

From Atlantic voyage to founding activator of U.S. Plastics Pact

This week, we’re proud to announce that Clorox is part of a cross-sector collaboration and one of the first activators of the U.S. Plastics Pact.

This is the latest step on our journey to change how private industry and consumers use and dispose of plastic, a journey that also saw us join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation New Plastics Economy.

The U.S. Plastics Pact is an ambitious initiative to unify diverse public-private stakeholders across the plastics value chain to rethink the way we design, use and reuse plastics to create a path toward a circular economy for plastic in the United States so no plastic ends up in landfill. It’s a collaborative led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Recycling Partnership, as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastic Pact Network. This network is a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution that will create regional and national solutions that ensure plastic never becomes waste.

”This initiative delivers a step change toward a circular economy, enabling companies and governments in the U.S. to meet impactful goals by 2025 that no company or government could  meet on its own,” says Jodi Russell, Vice President – R&D. “Pact activators are all marching toward the same industry goals consistent with Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s vision of a circular economy for plastic, which Clorox incorporated into the environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals in our corporate IGNITE Strategy.”

By joining the U.S. Plastics Pact, Clorox will work collectively, along with other stakeholders, toward four targets:

  1. Define a list of packaging to be designated as unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to address by 2025.
  2. By 2025, all plastic packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
  3. By 2025, undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging.
  4. By 2025, the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30%

Joining Plastics Pact helps us deliver our IGNITE strategy goals and commitments

These four targets support our IGNITE Strategy’s ESG ambitions.

Reusable and refillable models will help us achieve circularity in our packaging. However, it’s no easy task for some of our businesses.

To achieve circularity for our product life cycles, we will need changes and investments in the recycling system itself as well as in consumer education and behavior. Each of us in the U.S. Plastics Pact, which spans 50+ brands, retailers, government agencies and NGOs, has a role to play.

Clorox Sustainability Center pursues partnerships to achieve its strategy

Our decision to join the U.S. Plastics Pact is part of a broader strategy to achieve our goals via partnerships.

“As a company, our ambitions have never been greater. We’re trying to solve social and environmental problems that have been hard-coded into the way people have consumed for decades. It would be fruitless to try to do it alone,” says Yating Wong, Director – Marketing, Sustainability. “To achieve our goals and make an even greater difference in the world for people and the planet, we need radical collaboration. That’s why we seek partners with the technical prowess to develop groundbreaking solutions for consumers and customers and the ability to drive scalable behavior change.”

Because our Sustainability Center will be actively engaged with other U.S. Plastics Pact stakeholders, Clorox is in a position to contribute to the learning and take action on the areas identified as needing collective attention.