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Walmart, U.S. Plastics Pact partner on sustainable packaging awards

Walmart is collaborating with the U.S. Plastics Pact by gifting the use of its Circular Connector for their first ever Innovation Awards.

To accelerate the search for and use of more sustainable packaging solutions, Walmart announced that it is collaborating with the U.S. Plastics Pact by gifting the use of its Circular Connector for their first ever Innovation Awards.

Walmart noted that when it launched the Circular Connector in April 2022, the goal was to connect companies with more sustainable packaging innovations with those that were looking for similar types of solutions. “We knew we weren’t alone in this search with over 500 organizations around the world signing on to The Ellen McArthur Foundation’s and UNEP’s New Plastic Economy Global Commitment. This is why we developed the Circular Connector to be open and accessible to the public,” Walmart said. 

The U.S. Plastics Pact, which unites more than 850 organizations including Walmart, aims to ensure that plastics never become waste by eliminating the plastics we don’t need; innovating to ensure that the plastics we do need are reusable, recyclable or compostable; and circulating all the plastic items we use to keep them in the economy and out of the environment.

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The inaugural awards were designed to inspire new solutions and provide a unique platform for innovators to test their ideas. All companies that submit packaging solutions to the Circular Connector before Aug. 12 will be considered for the award. The awards, which are free to enter and are open to businesses of all sizes as long as they serve the U.S. market, will focus on three categories:

  • Recyclability: Meets design for recyclability in U.S. systems (i.e., meets the Association of Plastic Recyclers Preferred Design Guidelines, How2Recycle Guidelines, contains no problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging), supports the transition from non-recyclable to recyclable and/or meets Walmart’s Recycling Playbook Recyclable “Green” Pages(s);
  • Reuse/Refill: Where packaging is refilled or reused for the same purpose it was originally sold; and
  • Compostability: Meets the Biodegradable Products Institute’s composting certification standards.

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Winners will receive:

  • Manufacturing trial discussions with Walmart;
  • Four 30-minute mentoring sessions with Walmart Private Brand Packaging teams;
  • Promotion through U.S. Plastics Pact channels, including highlights at sustainability conferences;
  • Technology showcase with procurement and technical staff from U.S. Plastics Pact activators spanning across the plastics value chain; and
  • A chance to be featured on the Sustainable Packaging Podcast.

Additional characteristics that will be considered in the judging criteria include sustainable sourcing, virgin plastic reduction and material health. Winners will be announced in fall 2022. 

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