New, Free Tool Enables U.S. Companies to Set Ambitious Packaging Strategies to Reduce Plastic Waste

Created by The Recycling Partnership and SYSTEMIQ, with support from Walmart, Plastic IQ leverages industry best practices and data so companies can build action plans and achieve circularity goals

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (May 5, 2021) – The Recycling Partnership and SYSTEMIQ today launched Plastic IQ, a cutting-edge digital tool to help U.S. companies develop effective plastic packaging waste reduction strategies. Created with support from Walmart, Plastic IQ is a forward-looking, data-based planning tool that is aligned with industry best practices. The tool allows companies to prioritize actions to address plastic packaging waste, meet their sustainability goals, and ultimately accelerate progress toward a circular economy.

Plastic IQ is available at no cost so that companies of all sizes and resources can analyze their plastic packaging data and calculate how their company’s strategy impacts their costs as well as plastic and carbon emissions impact.   

“Plastic waste is a global challenge that must be addressed with science, speed, and collaboration.  No single entity can alone drive the transformative and widespread solutions we so critically need,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership. “That’s where Plastic IQ comes in.  Driven by data and free for all to use, it provides decision makers at U.S. companies with a common tool to advance real-time solutions.  By connecting the dots between goals, actions, and measurement, we believe Plastic IQ will accelerate the pace of meaningful change.”

Plastic IQ analyzes user data and helps companies calculate the circularity of their plastic packaging– from production and consumption through to end of life. The tool takes companies through a series of steps to identify ways to use less plastic, promote better packaging, and contribute to a better system. Paired with a robust Solutions Database of resources and implementation guidance, Plastic IQ offers real-world actions users can take to strengthen their sustainability goals, respond to the expectations of their customers and stakeholders, and implement cost-saving opportunities.

“Many companies are now setting targets and joining initiatives to address the challenge of plastic waste,” said Ben Dixon, Partner at SYSTEMIQ. “We often hear that the plastics issue is complex for companies to navigate and set strategies. Information is power, and Plastic IQ is the solution that provides companies with the economic and environmental information needed to prioritize action, compare strategies against industry best practices and drive collective action.”

“Walmart supported the development of Plastic IQ to help companies better understand and identify solutions that can improve their plastic packaging strategies and minimize their plastic waste,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer at Walmart. “Without action, it’s estimated the annual flow of plastic into the ocean could nearly triple by 2040. We must work urgently to move beyond business as usual, and Plastic IQ is a free, publicly available tool to help any company, big or small, get world-class guidance on the plastic packaging challenge – we hope it helps everyone move further, faster.”

Plastic IQ translates leading industry research into personalized, data-based action plans, helps companies quantify the trade-offs in their decisions, and allows users to model how outside forces, such as policy or technology changes, may impact their efforts to reduce plastic waste. It also recognizes companies that set impactful targets to address plastic waste and realize their circularity and corporate sustainability goals. Plastic IQ has been guided by a group of brand owners, retailers, and organizations to ensure its maximum impact for industry. As of May 5, 2021, the following companies have committed to use Plastic IQ and signed on to help catalyze the change needed: Colgate-Palmolive Company, Grove Collaborative, Happy Family Organics, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health, Kellogg Company, Mondelēz International, Nestlé USA, Unilever, and Walmart.

“With so many businesses having stepped up to make commitments take coordinated action towards a circular economy for plastic, for example through voluntary mechanisms like the Global Commitment and the Plastics Pact network, it is very positive to see tools like Plastic IQ being built to help these businesses build out their strategies to achieve these targets for a world without plastic pollution,” said Sander Defruyt, New Plastics Economy Lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

The following organizations are providing guidance and helping catalyze the change: As You Sow, Association of Plastic Recyclers, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Sustainability Consortium, U.S. Plastics Pact, and World Wildlife Fund.The following organizations are providing guidance and helping catalyze the change: As You Sow, Association of Plastic Recyclers, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The Sustainability Consortium, U.S. Plastics Pact, and World Wildlife Fund.

To access the tool, visit ; For additional information, watch this video What’s Your Plastic IQ?; To access the solutions database, visit; Quotes from our supporters For specific queries, contact


About The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership is the action agent transforming the U.S. residential recycling system for good. Our team operates at every level of the recycling value chain and works on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs and tackle circular economy challenges. As the leading organization in the country that engages the full recycling supply chain, from working with companies to make their packaging more circular and help them meet climate and sustainability goals, to working with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of the U.S. recycling system, The Recycling Partnership positively impacts recycling at every step in the process. Since 2014, the nonprofit change agent diverted 230 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 465 million gallons of water, avoided more than 250,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and drove significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at


SYSTEMIQ is a B Corp founded in 2016 to drive the achievements of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals by transforming markets and business models in three key economic systems: land use, materials, and energy. In 2020, SYSTEMIQ and The Pew Charitable Trusts published “Breaking the Plastic Wave: A Comprehensive Assessment of Pathways Towards Stopping Ocean Plastic Pollution,” an evidence-based roadmap that shows how industry and governments can radically reduce ocean plastic pollution by 2040. The findings of our analysis were published in the peer-reviewed journal, Science. Plastic IQ leverages the approach and methodology developed in “Breaking the Plastic Wave” and makes it accessible to individual companies. To learn more, visit

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs over 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting, on Facebook at and on Twitter at


Media Contacts: Samantha Kappalman
The Recycling Partnership