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Plastic is among the top priorities for many corporate sustainability strategies. A growing number of companies have goals to reduce plastic use, working to ensure plastic packaging is recyclable and making claims about plastic-free products and packaging. A hidden challenge with these efforts is the lack of clarity about what materials are considered plastic and preferred solutions.
The American Chemistry Council tracks these resins: polyethylene (LDPE/LLDPE/HDPE); polypropylene (PP); polyvinyl chloride (PVC); polystyrene (PS); expanded polystyrene (EPS); epoxy; isocyanates; and polyether polyols. While these materials are often the focus of corporate plastics efforts, questions arise such as: Are bio-based versions included? What about alternative resins or compostable items?
Without a solid understanding of what materials are of focus, how can action be taken and progress achieved? The solution is simple: to define what plastic means for your company’s efforts. To get to an effective definition, it is important to consider the drivers and aims for the program.