Plastic packaging is at the center of our lives as it is found in numerous products used every day. Increasing the sustainability of plastic packaging will have a major impact on the world. As one of the largest and most innovative global packaging companies, Amcor leads the industry, having integrated sustainability into and across its core values. To understand the best opportunities for improvement, this project analyzed Amcor’s full supply chain through a natural capital valuation. The natural capital valuation puts a dollar value on the ecosystems services and externalities associated with Amcor’s business. Our preliminary findings led us to conclude that, accounting for GHG emissions, water use and waste generated can make post-consumer resin comparable to virgin resin from a cost perspective. We also found that Amcor is relatively efficient in its own operations when compared to the rest of the supply chain, and should therefore focus on its downstream impacts where it can create the most impact in terms of post-consumer waste. In focusing on these downstream impacts, we learned quickly that there is minimal data, globally, on plastic packaging waste, its collection, country infrastructure, and perception and education around plastic recovery. A model was created to predict plastic packaging recovery rates for countries where this data does not exist, and also get a better understanding of which factors most influence the plastic packaging recovery rates. We found that total household municipal waste, percent of waste to landfill, and the Gini index have a statistically significant impact on plastic packaging recovery rates. Amcor has an opportunity to focus on these variables when attempting to improve their downstream footprint.
CSS Publication Number:
Albin, Malcolm, Alexis Apostal, Helen Lee, Carl Spevacek, Nikole Vargas and Julio Villasenor. (2017) “A Natural Capital Assessment and Post-Consumer Waste Analysis for AMCOR.” Master’s Project, University of Michigan: Ann Arbor: 1-87.