Demand for recycled content is growing rapidly, with more than 250 brands and retailers in the U.S. committing to increase their use of recycled content in products and packaging. While 90% of plastic waste ends up in a landfill, incinerator, or worse, in our oceans and the environment, the current supply of recycled plastics meets just 6% of demand for the most common plastics in the US and Canada because of technical or market barriers. This highlights the significant gap between where we are and where we need to be.
Using plastic packaging as a starting point, this tool guides investors, brands, entrepreneurs and policymakers to make data-driven decisions that drive toward a circular future. The map brings to light the diversity of plastic waste, breaking down the volumes of plastics by type and the flows by country, state and province. In doing so, it highlights the critical opportunities to recapture valuable plastics and re-incorporate them into manufacturing supply chains. Enhancing the transparency of supply chains and better understanding the current flow of materials are essential first steps to improve plastics recovery.