A Better Path for Plastic

Plastic plays an essential role in modern life, serving as a building block for everything from packaging to medical equipment. This versatile material has undeniable upsides, such as protecting our food and making cars lighter, so they use less fuel. But far too much plastic is mismanaged at the end of its life, ending up in landfills or in our environment. What can each of us do in our daily lives to be part of the solution? Milliken & Company recently enlisted National Geographic to convene a group of experts to share ideas. Here’s some inspiration those experts shared for how you can make a positive impact in your community and the world.


Answer these questions to see how much you really know about plastics: Where they come from and where they go.

Meet the Experts

Fourteen experts from around the world gathered virtually in March 2021 to discuss the issues surrounding end-of-life plastics and successful examples of positive change. The participants came from local governments, environmental groups, businesses, and universities. Across three dynamic breakout sessions, they outlined what must happen now to stop plastics waste and described heartening examples of change already under way.


What makes us human is a matter of how we choose to live on this planet and what we can do. We make those decisions together, because we believe that people have the capacity to influence leaders, big brands, policymakers-not just with their purchasing power, but as a force for change in the entire plastics ecosystem."
Lilly SedaghatNational Geographic Explorer

Materials science expert Milliken & Company knows that a single molecule has the potential to change the world. With innovative solutions across the textile, flooring, specialty chemical, and healthcare industries, Milliken answers some of the world’s greatest challenges. Named to the World’s Most Ethical Companies® list by Ethisphere Institute for 15 straight years, the company meets the moment with an unwavering commitment to delivering sustainable solutions for its customers and communities. Eight thousand associates across 46 locations globally rally behind a common purpose: to positively impact the world for generations.

Discover more about Milliken’s curious minds and inspired solutions.

Learn More

SOLUTIONS IN ACTIONRecyclables for Groceries

In India, the cities of Panaji and Mapusa are encouraging recycling with a barter system where citizens can exchange recyclable items such as cardboard and plastic bottles for groceries. In just two months, one store alone was able to collect 2,300 bottles and 6,000 plastic bags.

Learn More

SOLUTIONS IN ACTIONToronto Reduce and Reuse Programs

To keep items in use longer, Toronto has established a variety of programs aimed at sharing and repairing. Through the city's bicycle repair hub program, for example, more than 3,500 bicycles have been fixed rather than going into landfills.

Learn More


A patented recycling process developed at consumer goods company Procter & Gamble turns used polypropylene into a “virgin-like” resin that is the basis for plastic products. Milliken is providing a key set of plastic additives to increase the viability of PureCycle materials

Learn More


In 2011, sociologist Andrew Ross published a book that billed Phoenix the least sustainable city in the world. Six years later, the city was recognized as one of the top 10 cities taking climate action, thanks to its Reimagine Phoenix initiative. By 2019, 36 percent of waste was being diverted from landfills, and the city has a goal to achieve zero waste by 2050.

Learn More

UP NEXTRedefine Waste