Fisk Johnson in the ocean surrounded by ocean plastic

It’s Time to Turn the Tide on Plastic Pollution: A Letter from SC Johnson’s Chairman and CEO

"It’s time to turn the tide on plastic waste, and SC Johnson is working hard to be part of the solution." - Fisk Johnson
"If there is any silver lining to this crisis, it’s that the global crisis of plastic pollution has captured the world’s attention." - Fisk Johnson
You can’t turn on the TV or read the news today without seeing terrible images of plastic in the world’s oceans.

Thanks to social media, what was previously an abstract threat has been brought to life in heartbreaking high definition — marine life with stomachs full of plastic, rivers clogged with waste, islands of rubbish in the sea.

The reality is just as stark as the pictures suggest. Experts estimate that 8 million metric tons of plastic are entering the ocean every year — the equivalent of one bin lorry load every minute. In fact, more than 30 percent of plastic waste is reportedly escaping collection systems and going into the environment.

The developing world lacks the infrastructure for waste disposal and recycling. Even where infrastructure exists, like in North America, plastic recycling rates are disappointingly low at less than 10 percent.

If there is any silver lining to this crisis, it’s that the global crisis of plastic pollution has captured the world’s attention. And with this attention comes a tipping point — governments are making plans to take action, consumers are vowing to change behaviours, and companies like SC Johnson are stepping up to help.

We’ve dedicated this Sustainability Report to sharing our progress. I hope it helps show that advances can be made, and encourages more organisations to join us.
If there is any silver lining to this crisis, it’s that the global crisis of plastic pollution has captured the world’s attention. And with this attention comes a tipping point...
Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO
After more than a decade working to improve the sustainability of our plastic packaging, in 2018 we took steps to further accelerate our progress.

Already, more than 94 percent of SC Johnson’s plastic packaging is designed to be recyclable, reusable or compostable, and we’ve used post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in our bottles for years.

Now, we are expanding concentrated refills, tripling our PCR plastic use, using bottles made from ocean-bound plastic, and aiming to make 100 percent of our plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy. Increasing the PCR in packaging can affect its colour, making it look less appealing in stores. But we’re viewing that as a “badge of honour” that we’re doing the right thing — and we’re proceeding anyway.

Likewise, we’ve been selling concentrated refills for nearly a decade, but found that most consumers simply haven’t been ready to make the switch to refilling. We’re hopeful that with growing awareness of plastic pollution, people will embrace this plastic-saving option.
This is a complex problem with no single solution. It’s going to take industry, government, NGOs and individuals working together.

That’s why we also have spent a lot of time over the past year establishing partnerships through which we can help drive progress in many parts of the world.

For example, since many countries don’t have the infrastructure to manage recyclable waste, we partnered with Plastic Bank to build recycling centres, starting in Indonesia. These help stop plastic leaking into the ocean and bring economic opportunity to families.

In the United States, we continue to champion the evolution of kerbside recycling to include plastic film like grocery bags, food packaging and Ziploc® brand bags. SC Johnson teams have met with countless local council officials, public works agencies and recyclers, and hope to be close to our first pilot.
As a Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we are helping drive circular economic initiatives at the global level. This starts with being a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, working to address the root causes of plastic pollution.

Plus, with longstanding partner Conservation International, I have been able to visit various government and NGO projects that are making real, measurable progress on cleaning up plastic pollution.
There’s no easy solution to any of these challenges, and action is needed at every level. But there is reason for hope."
Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO
There’s no easy solution to any of these challenges and action is needed at every level. But there is reason for hope.

Over the past year, I’ve met with people working in countries from Indonesia to Panama, Liberia to the Philippines. I have seen the commitment and care being given to this issue, and the passion there is to find solutions.

I know I speak for everyone at SC Johnson when I say these are commitments we share. It is time to turn the tide on plastic waste, and SC Johnson is working hard to be part of the solution.

Together, I believe we can make real progress.

- H. Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO
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Ocean Plastic: How does plastic waste get into the ocean?
 
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Ocean Plastic: Root Cause
 

Sustainability ReportFisk Johnson is Shining a Spotlight on the Global Plastic Crisis

Sustainability ReportSC Johnson and Ellen MacArthur Foundation: A Groundbreaking Global Partnership

Sustainability ReportSC Johnson Makes the Case for Reuse: A Big Reduction in Plastic Waste

Sustainability ReportAn Innovative Partnership between SC Johnson and Plastic Bank Reduces Plastic Pollution, Addresses Poverty

Sustainability ReportDriving a Circular Economy with Post-Consumer Recycled Materials

Sustainability ReportSC Johnson is Working for Solutions to the Global Plastic Crisis

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