A shortage of recycled plastic is putting P&G’s ability to meet its sustainability goals in jeopardy with the multinational expected to cut down on virgin plastic by 50% by 2030.
The company’s Vice President of Global Sustainability, Jack McAneny, told Reuters that obtaining recycled plastic for its packs had become more challenging due to the issues with the global supply chain.
Covid-19 and subsequent shutdowns of borders worldwide have thrown all supply chains into disarray, with massive delays at ports and skyrocketing prices for containers.
“There’s simply not enough recycled plastic available to meet the commitments that have been made by, not only just P&G, but our peers and industry,” McAneny said.
P&G, which is the maker of Gillette razors and owner of hair care brand Head & Shoulders, has however worked with suppliers to increase the output of recycled plastic and innovate new technologies.
Invented and developed by P&G was PureCycle Technologies, a recycling start-up that – using its unique technology – was able to transform discarded carpet to ultra-pure polypropylene resin.
By removing colour, odour and impurities from waste polypropylene the company was able to return the product to its original condition, saving products from going to landfill.
“We need to ensure that these advanced recycling technologies are indeed delivering a net benefit,” McAneny added.
“Whiz bang technology might not always be the right solution if it’s going to use more energy [and] create more waste; and that’s where we have to be diligent,” he told the publication.
According to Waste2Wear, of the 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste generated, only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled.
Some eight million metric tonnes end up in oceans, 12% is incinerated and 60% of all plastic is in landfills.