Companies’ goals provide a starting point for the elimination of unnecessary plastics and increase in recycling rates – it is an important statement of intent and a step towards a revolution in the way companies use plastics. However, the targets need to be complemented with a baseline of the current situation. But measurement and following up is challenging as plastics are found everywhere and in countless variants and shapes. There is currently no standard for how Swedish companies should map their use of plastics in the same way as, for example, climate calculations are carried out according to the greenhouse gas protocol. Current solutions typically exist on an individual company level and are adapted to each company’s unique conditions. It is this challenge that the Plastics Progress Tool project aims to address.
“With increased knowledge of what the plastics situation looks like, companies are offered a stronger foundation for making strategic priorities in relation to objectives regarding the use of plastics.” – Hanna Skoog, Program Director Circular Economy, Axfoundation
The goal of the Plastics Progress Tool is to develop and implement both a working method and a digital tool for monitoring the use of plastics in Swedish companies. The initiative is carried out in collaboration with the Axel Johnson Group, whose companies get to act as test labs for development of the solution. In the first instance, the project enables the companies to report, monitor and act strategically with regards to their use of plastics. Once the technical solution is in place, and the results have been evaluated, the tool will be widely shared by Axfoundation to contribute to more unified reporting of plastics use.
The project focuses on integrating the methodology and the digital tool into the web-based platform Molnify. If the initiative is successful, the tool will be offered as a paid service to additional companies, with certain company-specific adjustments. The associated methodology and manual will be offered as open-source assets.
“For this project, we are learning as we go. We recognize the complexity of the issue of how plastics come in countless forms, but we have to start somewhere. Such an initiative requires the courage to begin testing and then evaluate along the way. We don’t know yet how far we will get, but the discussions themselves within the industry are of immense value. The companies in the Axel Johnson group are leading the way and we hope that the project will produce a practical first step for how companies can monitor their use of plastics.” – Hanna Skoog
Axfoundation is the initiator of the Plastic Progress Tool and leads the project. Within the initiative, Axfoundation collaborates with, among others, 2050, Axel Johnson AB, Axel Johnson International, Axfood, Dustin, Filippa K, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, KICKS, Martin & Servera and Åhléns. Axfoundation has also initiated a broad industry dialogue with, among others, DLF, FTI, GS1, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Swedish Food Retailers Federation, Swedish Trade Federation, Swedish Plastic Recycling and Swedish Recycling Industries Association.
We welcome more knowledge and experience into the project. Do you want to share your thoughts about the ongoing initiative or get involved with the project? We would love to hear from you.