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.
In 2021, 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 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 the household and personal care sector, at 9%*.
Our partnerships with Plastic Bank, 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 multiple projects underway to address recycling issues, including carbon black plastic, shrink-sleeves and flexible films.
Finally, we continue to advocate for infrastructure improvement and innovation to get more material into the recycling stream and programs to provide the funding required for product circularity. We sponsor curbside plastic film recycling pilot programs in communities across the U.S. to demonstrate the benefits of making plastic film recycling easy.
- 22% post-consumer recycled content - up 17 percentage points from 2018
- 50% recyclable packaging - up 2 percentage points from 2018
- 9% reusable packaging - up 5.6 percentage points from 2018
- Reduce our use of virgin plastic for packaging 30% by 2025 vs. 2018 baseline.
- Increase the amount of post-consumer recycled content in our plastic packaging 25% by 2025.
- Make 70% of our plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and continue to work toward an end goal of 100%.**
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, reuse 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
**These are global numbers as defined by Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Recyclability, reusability and/or compostability is dependent on local infrastructure.