// Asos signs new plastics pledge to encourage circular economy on packaging
// Fast fashion retailer has been testing reusable mailing bags for customers to cut out single-use plastics
Asos has signed up to a raft of new eco-conscious commitments towards its use of plastics.
The online fashion retailer signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, focusing its efforts on reducing the use of plastic in its operations, and encouraging a circular economy for the material – meaning it never becomes waste or pollution.
Signatories to the commitment agree to three key actions: eliminating all problematic and unnecessary plastic items; 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.
Asos has also added additional commitments for its plastic packaging.
The fast fashion retailer said it would take action to eliminate “problematic or unnecessary” plastic packaging by 2025, 50 per cent of Asos’ own-brand packaging to be eliminated by 2025, against a 2018 baseline.
While all of Asos’ packaging is recyclable in principle, the brand said it was now working to make it 100 per cent recyclable “in practice” accounting for local recycling infrastructure constraints.
By 2025, Asos aims to use 100 per cent recycled or renewable content used in plastic packaging, with at least 30 per cent of this being made up of post-consumer waste.
Asos said it will work to further encourage customers to return packaging back to the retailer, so it can recycle it into new packaging through a system introduced this year to ‘close the loop’ on packaging.
The retailer added that it would be trialing reusable packaging from 2020 via a reusable mailing bag it has been developing for the past year.
This move would help the retailer reduce the single-use plastic it sends out to customers.
“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 per cent recycled material in the new year and are already 100 per cent recyclable,” Asos responsible sourcing director Simon Platts said.
“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.”
Ellen MacArthur Foundation lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative Sander Defruyt said: “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.”