Label materials supplier UPM Raflatac joins U.S. Plastics Pact, committing to meet ambitious circular economy goals by 2025

UPM Raflatac, a global leading manufacturer of pressure sensitive labels, is pleased to announce it has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact. This collaborative, solutions-driven initiative is rooted in four ambitious goals intended to drive significant systems change by unifying diverse cross-sector approaches, setting a national strategy, and creating scalable solutions to create a path forward toward a circular economy for plastics in the United States by 2025. The first North American Pact of its kind, the U.S. Pact is a collaboration led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Activators like UPM Raflatac recognize that significant, systemwide change is imperative to realize a circular economy for plastics. As such, the U.S. Pact will convene more than 70 brands, retailers, NGOs, and government agencies across the plastics value chain to bring one voice to U.S. packaging through coordinated initiatives and innovative solutions for rethinking products, packaging, and business models.

UPM Raflatac is constantly innovating to deliver future-proof functional and circular labeling solutions that help printers and brand owners reach their sustainability goals for packaging materials. As one of the signatories of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, joining the U.S. Pact is another step on the company’s journey to label a smarter future beyond fossils.

“Our company is proud to be the first pressure sensitive label supplier to join the U.S. Plastics Pact, further demonstrating our commitment to leading in sustainable labeling,” says Kyle Strenski, Director, Global Business Development, Films, UPM Raflatac. “We believe that ‘labels matter’ when it comes to the design and recyclability of sustainable packaging materials and look forward to collaborating with our fellow activators on ways we can make a circular economy for plastics an achievable goal within the next five years.”

As a founding Activator of the U.S. Plastics Pact, UPM Raflatac has agreed to collectively deliver against these four ambitious goals:

  1. Define a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate them 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%. ​

While the U.S. Pact is complementary to, and follows the ambitious precedents set by the existing global network of Plastic Pacts, it will be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the U.S. market. The Pact will reflect national priorities and realities, while still propelling the nation closer to other developed nations in its management of plastic waste.

“Together through the U.S. Plastics Pact, we will ignite system change to accelerate progress toward a circular economy,” says Sarah Dearman, Vice President of Circular Ventures for The Recycling Partnership. “The U.S. Pact will accelerate systemwide change by inspiring and supporting upstream innovation through a coordinated national strategy, creating a unified framework and enabling members to accelerate progress toward our ambitious 2025 sustainability goals. Members’ full participation will be vital to reaching our shared goals.”

Achieving this vision will require new levels of accountability from all facets of the plastics supply chain. The U.S. Pact emphasizes measurable change and as such, UPM Raflatac is committed to transparent, annual reporting. The first task of the founding members of the U.S. Plastics Pact will be to establish a “roadmap” in Q1 2021 to identify key milestones and national solutions to achieving the U.S. targets and realize a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste.