Kicking the can down the road: U.S. Plastics Pact delays reduction targets by 5 years, pushing them back to 2030

The U.S. Plastics Pact, which includes more than 80 leading brands such as Danone, Coca Cola and Nestle, has pushed its reduction targets back by 5 years from 2025 to 2030.
June 19, 2024

Proverbial can kicked down the road as plastic targets are pushed to 2030

The U.S. Plastics Pact has announced that its recycling targets, originally set for 2025, will be pushed back by 5 years to 2030. Founded in 2020 by the Recycling Partnership and the WWF, the agreement forms part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Pact Network and to date includes 80 leading brands such as Pepsi Co, Nestle, Danone and Coca Cola.

The Pact set out several goals for 2025, including defining problematic packaging, and setting a target of achieving an average 30% recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content.

Contained within a roadmap, the original 4 targets were:

·         Define a list of packaging that is problematic, or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate the items on the list by 2025.

·         100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

·         Undertake ambitious actions to effectively recycle or compost 50% of plastic packaging by 2025.

·         Achieve an average of 30% recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content by 2025[i].

Now in a press release the U.S. Plastics Pact has announced an updated strategy, with a second roadmap (Roadmap 2.0) which takes the targets through to 2030.

In a press release it explains that the initial roadmap was “a bold initiative to catalyse immediate action in the absence of a federal strategy”[ii] However, it states that while the trajectory is positive “an ever-changing landscape necessitates an agile and adaptive strategy.” It adds that the new Roadmap 2.0 produced by the Pact is “designed to carry forward the unfinished targets from the original plan and introduce new objectives based on the experiences of U.S. Plastic Pact Activators”[iii].

It follows an update on progress so far which suggests companies are well off-track in meeting the initial 2025 targets. For example, on the target for 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, just 48% of participants meet this goal, up from 37% in 2020. Further, on the goal of increasing use of postconsumer recycled content (PCR) or responsibly sourced biobased content in plastic packaging, this rose from 7% to 9.4%.

Some group members have laid blame on a lack of national standards imposed by federal regulation has hampered efforts, where the US remains one of the largest markets globally without mandates for EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility).

US Plastics Pact claims roadmap 2.0 sets “ambitious new goals”

Emily Tipaldo, Executive Director of the U.S. Plastics Pact, stated: “The current reliance on virgin plastics is unsustainable. Roadmap 2.0 aims to make a tangible difference by changing how we design, use, and reuse plastics. The focus is on practical, achievable steps companies can take to contribute to a circular economy.”[iv]

The new Roadmap 2.0 targets (the majority of which are the roadmap 1.0 targets pushed to 2030) are:

Source: U.S. Plastics Pact

Tipaldo added: “Roadmap 2.0 is not just a continuation; it’s an evolution. Our initial targets were intentionally ambitious to spark rapid change. With Roadmap 2.0, we’re taking what we have learned and succeeded to the next level, focusing on innovative solutions and addressing broader impacts. We are committed to working collaboratively with our Activators and stakeholders to make these targets a reality.”[v]


[i] U.S. Plastics Pact | Roadmap to 2025 (

[ii] USPact_Roadmap2.0_NewsRelease_Official.pdf (

[iii] Ibid

[iv] U.S. Plastics Pact Launches its new strategic plan - Roadmap 2.0 | Press Release (

[v] Ibid

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Lauren Foye
Head of Reports

Lauren has extensive experience as an analyst and market researcher in the digital technology and travel sectors. She has a background in researching and forecasting emerging technologies, with a particular passion for the Videogames and eSports industries. She joined the Critical Information Group as Head of Reports and Market Research at GRC World Forums, and leads the content and data research team at the Zero Carbon Academy. “What drew me to the academy is the opportunity to add content and commentary around sustainability across a wealth of industries and sectors.”

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