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Making Progress with Plastic Packaging

After decades of companies increasing the use of virgin plastics, we’re proud to be helping turn the tide.

Beyond doing what’s right, we’re committed to being transparent about our choices and the impact our business has on the world. 

That’s why in 2018, SC Johnson joined the Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. Together, we and hundreds of other organizations set ambitious 2025 targets toward a circular economy for plastics. We also agreed to report our progress publicly.

This past year, we surpassed the first of our targets, going beyond our ambition to use 15% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic content in our packaging and achieving more than 19% instead. We immediately increased our 2025 target to 25% PCR content, aiming to continue driving progress across our business.

A key to SC Johnson’s progress has been reuse models across 45 of our product segments, enabling bottles, triggers or other components from previously purchased products to be reused. We continue to have the highest percentage of reusable plastic packaging in our sector, at 6.9%.

Our partnerships with Plastic Bank, Molecoola and multiple sports teams likewise are helping increase recycling rates, since they contribute to a circular economy for plastic. 

We also launched an internal packaging scorecard to drive progress on the recyclability of our packaging. Materials are assigned “red,” “amber” or “green” status to reflect their recyclability. We now have about 100 projects underway to address recycling issues, such as the use of carbon black plastic or multi-material components.

Finally, we also continue in our advocacy for plastic and plastic recycling. We sponsor curbside plastic film recycling pilot programs in communities across the U.S. to demonstrate the benefits of making plastic film recycling easy. 

 

Here’s how our packaging has improved:
  • 19.2% post-consumer recycled content - up 14.2 percentage points from 2018
  • 50.4% recyclable packaging - up 2.4 percentage points from 2018
  • 6.9% reusable packaging - up 3.5 percentage points from 2018
Various SC Johnson brands are making it easier to reuse packaging with refillable products. 

Advocating for Accountability

At the same time we’re driving progress in our own business, we want to encourage industry-wide advances too. Our Chairman and CEO, Fisk Johnson, regularly speaks at the national and international level about the need for governments, businesses and individuals to work together to solve the plastic waste crisis. 

As an example, in March 2022 he published an op-ed calling for effective Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulation in the U.S. to help improve collection and recycling infrastructure and encourage reduction, re-use and recycling of materials.

“A system of shared responsibility that recognizes that we are all part of the challenge and solution is the most sustainable framework for progress.” – Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO, SC Johnson

 

SC Johnson’s Targets
  • Reduce our use of virgin plastic for packaging 30% by 2025.
  • Increase the amount of post-consumer recycled content in our packaging 25% by 2025.
  • Make 70% of our plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  • Continue to remove excess plastics wherever possible.