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Businesses sign up to UK Plastics Pact to tackle plastic pollution

Published 27 April 2018

WRAP has launched the UK Plastics Pact, a collaboration which brings together businesses from across the plastics value chain with the UK governments and NGOs to tackle the menace of plastic waste.

A total of 42 businesses, including food, drink and non-food brands, manufacturers and retailers, plastic reprocessors and packaging suppliers, have signed up to the world-first pact, which aims to transform the plastic packaging system in the UK and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.

These pact members are responsible for more than 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets. In addition, 15 other organizations have also expressed their commitment to the pact.

By 2025, the team intends to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models; make 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; ensure 70% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled or composted; and ensure 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

The UK Plastics Pact will be replicated in other countries as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, being led by WRAP.

In the UK, the pact will promote the development of innovative business models to reduce the amount of plastic packaging.

According to WRAP, the pact will also help build a stronger recycling system, where general public take more responsibility for their own waste and ensure plastic packaging can be effectively recycled and made into new products and packaging.

The pact will also ensure consistent UK recycling is met with the support of governments.

WRAP said that the immediate focus will be on identifying priority projects that will deliver greatest impacts in the short term and long term, including overcoming barriers to increasing the amount of recycled content used in new packaging, developing reusable packaging and working with partners to overcome the issue of un-recyclable black plastic.

WRAP said it will launch a campaign in summer to engage citizens and help them to take action so that the pact can be truly holistic.

The UK Plastics Pact is the first of a unique international network of national and regional initiatives, and Chile will follow later in 2018.