Beyond the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Some Companies Create Alternative Routes to Circularity Goals
By Joel Berg
Others see reasons to disengage from the work of the foundation, even as they continue to press forward with their efforts to create a circular economy. Sealed Air Corporation was a member of the EMF-led New Plastics Economy initiative from 2016 to 2018. Afterward, the company shifted its focus on strengthening the recycling system for flexible plastics, says Ron Cotterman, vice president of sustainability innovation and strategy at Sealed Air.
“Bringing together like-minded companies to collaborate on circularity initiatives for flexible plastic packaging created a better opportunity for us and our industry,” Cotterman says. “As a result, we created some pretty remarkable circular plastic loops for flexible packaging.”
Sealed Air focused on total system design where it is better to find ways to recycle materials that bring significant societal value, rather than targeting to eliminate materials difficult to recycle today, according to Cotterman.
EMF was an early inspiration for Sealed Air’s commitment to design 100% of its packaging solutions to be recyclable or reusable by 2025 while offering an average of 50% recycled or renewable content across all material solutions. But Sealed Air moved beyond the EMF’s work by leading supply chain collaborations, with partners worldwide to solve the problems with the recycling systems, Cotterman says.
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