AUSTRALIA – Amcor has pledged to develop recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025, becoming the first global packaging company to directly address the major environmental issue with capability, scale and reach.

According to the company, it also committed to significantly increase its use of recycled materials and driving consistently more recycling of packaging around the world.

This move joins with 10 leading brands and retail companies that made the same commitment, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF).

“Our aspiration is to be the leading global packaging company,” said Ron Delia, Amcor’s chief executive officer.

“That means winning on behalf of the environment, customers, consumers, shareholders and our people at the same time, in ways that differentiate Amcor and generate growth.”

EMF estimates that the companies together influence more than six-million metric tons of plastic packaging each year.

Packaging is vital to assuring the safety and effectiveness of an extensive range of food, beverage, medical, pharmaceutical, household and personal care products.

It also significantly limits the enormous environmental implications from food and other product waste.

Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Rob Opsomer of EMF said that Amcor’s pledge is notable.

“Amcor being the first global packaging company to commit to working toward 100-percent recyclable or reusable packaging by 2025 is an important milestone towards creating a circular economy for plastics,” said Mr. Opsomer, who leads EMF’s Systemic Initiatives.

“The company’s commitment and expertise will be instrumental in supporting the growing group of brands and retailers that have set similar targets for them.”

The U.K.-based EMF’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a circular economy, in which plastics and other resources are used over and over.

Amcor is the only packaging company among core partners to EMF and the foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.

Mr. Opsomer also called on other companies “to follow Amcor’s lead.”

However, some of the biggest challenges to recyclable and reusable packaging remain, said Amcor’s Mr. Delia, and will be overcome through leadership and innovation, in partnership with customers, suppliers, government agencies, NGOs and others.

“The people who make up our global team are inspired by ambitious goals,” he said.

“They are capable, creative, and committed to building a great business and making a difference.”