Online retailer Asos has signed up to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New
Plastics Economy Global Commitment, a global initiative rallying more than
400 businesses and governments behind a positive vision of a circular
economy for plastics, in which it never becomes waste or pollution.
London-based Asos is the principal online retailer to sign the pledge
and has made its own “ambitious commitments” on plastic packaging with four
pledges, including eliminating problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging
by 2025, with 50 percent of ASOS’ own-brand packaging to be eliminated by
2025, against a 2018 baseline.
In addition, Asos is to move from single-use plastic towards reuse
models where relevant by 2025, with a reusable packaging trial starting in
2020, testing a bespoke prototype mailing bag Asos has been developing for
the past year.
Asos has also pledged to make 100 percent of its packaging reusable,
recyclable or compostable by 2025. While Asos’ packaging is already 100
percent recyclable in principle, the brand added that it will work to make
sure it is 100 percent recyclable “in practice,” accounting for local
recycling infrastructure constraints.
The final pledge is to make 100 percent recycled or renewable content
used in plastic packaging by 2025, with at least 30 percent of this being
made up of post-consumer waste. Asos notes that it will work to “further
encourage customers to return packaging back” to the retailer, so it can
recycle it into new Asos packaging through a system introduced this year to
‘close the loop’ on packaging.
Asos signs up to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy
Alongside these four commitments, Asos has already been making its
plastic mailing bags 100 percent recyclable and made from 25 percent
recycled material, which Asos states will transition to 65 percent in 2020.
The online retailer has also committed to taking a shared leadership
approach within the e-commerce sector in order to advance industry
best-practice, and to extend the knowledge that Asos gains to its brand
Simon Platts, responsible sourcing director at Asos, said in a
statement: “We’ve been working hard to reduce our use of plastic across
Asos, including investing in developing our Asos mailing bags, which will
contain 65 percent recycled material in the new year and are already 100
“However, there’s always more we can do, which is why we’ve become a
signatory of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy Global
Commitment. This formalises our commitment to reducing our use of plastic,
through measures such as increasing the amount of used Asos bags we recycle
into new packaging and introducing a reusable packaging trial in the early
months of 2020.”
As signatories to Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy
Global Commitment, Asos has committed to three actions to realise this
vision: eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic
items; innovate to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable,
recyclable, or compostable; and circulate all the plastic items we use to
keep them in the economy and out of the environment.
Sander Defruyt, lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen
MacArthur Foundation, added: “The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
unites businesses, governments and others behind a clear vision of a
circular economy for plastic. We are pleased Asos is joining us, by setting
concrete 2025 targets.
“Our vision is for a world where plastic never becomes waste or
pollution. It will be a challenging journey, but by coming together we can
eliminate the plastics we don’t need and innovate, so the plastics we do
need can be safely and easily circulated – keeping them in the economy and
out of the environment.”
Asos is also a participant of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Make
Fashion Circular initiative, a collaboration between industry leaders to
create a textiles economy that will ultimately benefit business, society
and the environment.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative is
supported by more than 400 companies and organisations including H&M,
Burberry, Apple, Coca-Cola Company, L’Oréal, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, and
Images: courtesy of Asos