RB signs up to circular economy scheme for plastics packaging

Major consumer goods company RB (Reckitt Benckiser) has signed up to the New Plastics Economy Initiative, a circular economy scheme for plastics led by the Ellen MacArthur foundation and WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact.

RB has a number of brands distributed in aerosols for the household sector, including the Cillit Bang cleaning range and the Air Wick selection of air fresheners.

Back in June, the company set out a series of commitments on the use and recycling of plastics. This included a target to ensure that by 2025, 100% of the plastic used in the company’s packaging would be recyclable or reusable.

The New Plastics Economy is a global circular economy initiative aiming to shape the way plastics are used and disposed of. It aims to bring together players from across the plastics industry to ‘envisage new ways in which materials can be designed, from inception, to be easily reusable and recyclable.’

WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact is apparently the first network of agreements in the initiative, and aims to transform the way the country deals with plastics by bringing together key stakeholders.


Plastics commitment

RB states that its priority is to reduce packaging wherever possible, while also striving to create packaging that can be recycled more easily.

Back in 2011, the multinational launched what it dubbed ‘a ground-breaking air freshener product’ in the Air Wick range, replacing traditional propellant gases with compressed air. According to the company, this switch to compressed air meant it avoided using around 5,000 tonnes of butane per year, equivalent to 20,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

By signing up to the New Plastics Economy, RB says it hopes to become more involved in ‘cross-industry collaboration in order to drive the necessary technical, structural, behavioural and cultural change.’

“We are excited to join two leading organisations who will help us meet our plastics commitment. Alone, RB will never solve the global plastics challenge. Only through partnerships such as those announced today will we be able to truly deliver the change we all need,” said Miguel Veiga-Pestana, senior-vice president for Global Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at RB.

Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP, said: “We are delighted to have RB sign up to The UK Plastics Pact. Through our first-of-a-kind Pact we will work together with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic so that we retain its value, particularly in reducing food and drink waste, but prevent it from polluting the environment.”


RB’s full statement on plastics is available here.

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