Austin encourages local businesses to join in reducing plastic packaging waste

A close up of multiple plastic water bottles.

By Allison Strupeck

Austin Resource Recovery (ARR) is a proud part of the U.S. Plastics Pact which is now in an ambitious phase. The Pact’s enhanced strategic plan, Roadmap 2.0, aims to accelerate the creation of a circular economy where plastic packaging is reused, recycled, composted and kept within the economy—instead of becoming waste.

The nationwide plan features five targets:

  1. Eliminate all items on the Problematic and Unnecessary Materials List and reduce the use of virgin plastic by 30% by 2030.
  2. Design and manufacture 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
  3. Effectively recycle 50% of plastic packaging and establish the necessary framework to recycle or compost packaging at scale.
  4. Achieve an average of 30% postconsumer recycled content or responsibly sourced biobased content across all plastic packaging.
  5. Identify viable reusable packaging systems and increase their implementation and scale by 2030, as part of reducing the use of virgin plastics. 

The Pact’s focus on transforming the use of plastics in packaging complements the City of Austin’s zero waste goal. With a shared focus on innovation and sustainability, Austin is one of the Pact’s founding activators, which include over 160 companies, nonprofits, research groups and governments across the United States.  

The more stakeholders get actively involved, the more successful the coalition will be in driving national strategy and curbing the plastic waste crisis. This is why ARR is encouraging Central Texas businesses and stakeholders to learn more and add their strength to the U.S. Plastics Pact. By working together, we can create a future where plastics are no longer a waste but a valuable resource.

Austin is leading by example by reviewing plastic waste within city facilities. Among other internal strategies, the City continues to make progress studying the purchase and use of single-use plastics, related financial procedures, and employee education and training.

Learn more about plastic waste reduction in Austin