SC Johnson on track to make all plastic packaging closed-loop by 2025

US-based consumer goods firm SC Johnson's latest sustainability report has revealed the company is on target to meet its 2025 targets for plastic and recycling, Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy, with 94% of the firm's plastic packaging now recycle, reusable or compostable.

SC Johnson's latest sustainability report outlines progress against key targets. Image: SC Johnson 

SC Johnson's latest sustainability report outlines progress against key targets. Image: SC Johnson 

SC Johnson has revealed it has achieved a 1.7-million-kilogram reduction in the amount of plastic used in its primary packaging, as outlined in the firm’s 2018/19 sustainability report. The reduction has helped push the percentage of the company’s plastic packaging that recyclable, reusable or compostable from 90% the year prior to 94%.

“We’re at a tipping point in the global plastic waste crisis,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive of SC Johnson. “Governments are making plans to take action, consumers are vowing to change behaviours, and businesses are stepping up to help. These are all important steps forward to solving this critical issue. While there are no easy solutions, the progress I’ve seen first-hand around the world gives me reason for hope.”

SC Johnson’s commitment to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s was made under New Plastics Economy initiative, which was launched last October.

By signing up to the scheme, the firm joined more than 250 other organisations in committing to increase the amount of reused or recycled plastics in new products and to innovate to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025. Signatories include financial investors, non-profits and national Governments as well as corporates.

SC Johnson has since forged a new partnership with the Foundation, in a bid to scale-up closed-loop solutions to the global plastics pollution problem. Specifically, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will offer its best practice advice to SC Johnson and connect the company to its nine other Global Partner corporates, including Nike, Unilever, Google and H&M, while SC Johnson will invest in research, development and trials of new products and materials.

Closed-loop updates

The latest sustainability report outlines the steps that SC Johnson has taken to reduce plastics use and improve recyclability.

The company’s Plastic Bank partnership has helped create nine recycling centres in Indonesia to help communities without formal infrastructure manage ocean-bound plastic waste.

The firm’s Windex Vinegar Ocean Plastic bottles, the industry’s first plastic bottle made entirely from recycled ocean plastic, are now available in the North American domestic market with eight million units set to be supplied to retailers such as Walmart and Target. As well as being 100% recyclable, the product is also non-toxic and cruelty-free.

SC Johnson had already developed a range of concentrated cleaning products and refillable containers. It also recently completed work to develop compostable Ziploc bags and bin liners made from 100% recycled plastics.

The Windex Vinegar Ocean Plastic bottles are the latest in a line of packaging developments aimed at reducing plastic pollution, including Ecover’s 50% ocean plastic bottle and Proctor & Gamble’s (P&G’s) 25% beach plastic product, both launched in 2017.

The report also covers progress towards other sustainability targets. Notably, the company is ahead of its 2021 deadline for sending zero manufacturing waste to landfill.

On the carbon front, SC Johnson has reduced emissions by 62% compared to a 2000 baseline. One-third of the company’s global energy use also comes from renewable sources. Earlier this year, the company revealed plans to use geothermal energy for the heating and cooling of its headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.

Matt Mace



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