The beauty industry is deeply dependent upon plastic — perhaps indelibly — and that relationship has always posed an environmental challenge that, until recently, few business leaders have meaningfully attempted to address. But it seems the ecological urgency that plastic waste poses is finally being not only understood but confronted. One of the ways this is happening is through the creation of a new collaborative called the U.S. Plastics Pact, and one of the organizations, agencies, and brands joining its mission is one of the most recognizable names in beauty: L’Oréal.
“L’Oréal is committed to doing our part to protect the planet from the global climate crisis we are facing, and we are transforming our business to do so,” said Danielle Azoulay, L’Oréal USA’s head of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. “We are proud to be part of the U.S. Plastics Pact and join over 60 organizations in working together toward system-wide change toward a circular economy for plastic in the United States.”
According to a press release from L’Oréal USA, the U.S. Plastics Pact — led by The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and launched as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation global Plastics Pact network — seeks to bring together public-private stakeholders across the plastics value chain to come up with a new approach to the way plastic is designed, used, and reused. As part of this pact, L’Oreal is committing to defining a list of packaging to be designated as problematic or unnecessary by 2021 and take measures to eliminate that packaging by 2025. Also to be completed by 2025: ensuring all plastic packaging is 100-percent reusable, recyclable, or compostable, take ambitious steps toward recycling or composting 50 percent of plastic packaging, and making sure the average recycled content or responsibly sourced bio-based content in plastic packaging will be 30 percent.
The timing for L’Oréal couldn’t be better. Earlier this summer, the company launched L’Oréal for the Future, a sustainability initiative with goals set for 2030. “Recognizing the growing environmental and social challenges the planet is facing, L’Oréal for the Future accelerates the beauty leader’s transformation towards a business model that respects planetary boundaries and reinforces its commitments to both sustainability and inclusion around the world,” the press release reads.
There’s a lot of work to be done, and the immediate next steps for the U.S. Plastics Pact include creating a roadmap to lay out the steps to achieving the outlined targets. For more information on what L’Oréal and other members of the U.S. Plastics Pact are doing, visit usplasticspact.org.
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