Plastic pellets for industrial manufacturing use held in cupped hands.


Increasing circularity in our plastic use

  • Plastic pollution is a pressing global challenge, and the production of plastics negatively impacts the global climate through the release of greenhouse gas emissions. Compounding the issue is the management of plastic waste.

    3M uses plastics and has a responsibility to address this challenge. To help support the circular economy, we innovate new product and packaging solutions that use less plastic or are reusable, renewable, recyclable, or made with more recycled material. This includes using less virgin fossil-based plastic and more recycled or bio-based plastics where appropriate.

Key impacts

  • Plastics reduction

    Since 2021, we’ve achieved a 69.8-million-pound reduction in the use of virgin fossil-based plastic in our packaging and products toward our goal of reducing by 125 million pounds by the end of 2025. We've incorporated recycled and bio-based materials and reduced plastic use in products and packaging such as tapes and dispensers, sponges, workspace solutions, insulation, optical films, floor pads, sorbents, and more.

  • Packaging

    A redesign of our Command™ Picture Hanging Strips in our North American market replaced the plastic blister packs with paperboard cartons made from 100% recycled fibers with 35%–60% post-consumer recycled content. This eliminated over 43.5 metric tons of plastic while improving packaging recyclability.

  • Plastics recycling

    In partnership with GlobalGiving, we collaborated with Plastic Bank to support ethical collection of plastic waste in Brazil. 2023 saw the completion of a two-year collaboration that helped stop 801,680 pounds of plastic — the equivalent of over 18 million 500 ml plastic bottles — from entering the ocean. Collected material gets reused in products and packaging.