United States – 3M has committed to reduce its use of new plastic made from petroleum.
By 2025, 3M aims to achieve a new sustainability goal: reduce dependence on virgin fossil-based plastic by 125 million pounds.
Use of recycled plastic
To achieve this new goal, 3M is innovating the products and packaging in its Consumer Business Group. Advancements will include use of recycled content and bio-based plastics, and designs to decrease overall plastic use. Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Non-Scratch Scrubbers, which are made with 75% post-consumer recycled plastic and encased in recyclable packaging made from 100% recycled content, offer a prime example of the improvements 3M is making. 3M is implementing its transition away from new plastic quickly and aims to achieve the 125-million-pound reduction by the end of 2025.
Plastic pollution – a global challenge
Plastic pollution is a pressing global challenge, and the production of fossil-based plastics negatively impacts the global climate through the release of greenhouse gas emissions. A recent study from the Center on International Environmental Law found that by 2050, emissions from the plastic industry will be equivalent to those of 615 coal plants—totaling more than 2.75 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). By reducing use of this material, 3M can help address these challenges—ultimately aligning with its existing efforts to minimize waste and recent goal to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2050.
3M requires every new product to have a Sustainability Value Commitment that drives impact for the greater good. Commitments include recyclability, using recycled or renewable materials, opportunities for reuse at the end of a product’s lifespan and more.