It probably seems like plastics is under attack lately, between California's challenge to plastic bags, a recent Greenpeace study on "failures" of plastics recycling and a lot of coverage from media outside of the plastics industry on those studies.
But there's an element to the steady drumbeat of news that echoes the tropes of many a suspense movie: Some of these calls for drastic change are coming from inside the house.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's network of partners includes major plastics users such as Coca-Cola Co. and Unilever and molders and materials suppliers such as Amcor, Borealis and Solvay. But in its 2022 progress report, the foundation said key targets for 2025 are "expected to be missed."
While brands have doubled their use of recycled content, Karen Laird from Sustainable Plastics writes, the total amount of plastic packaging increased, so the use of virgin plastics actually climbed 2.5 percent in 2021 vs. 2020.
Meanwhile, Marco ten Bruggencate, the president of the trade group Plastics Europe, used his spot with a closing speech at K 2022 to call for the plastics industry to more quickly embrace ways to reduce the reliance on carbon-based feedstocks.
"Whatever we decide today will be decisive for the future of this industry," he said.