UK Plastics Pact by WRAP Adopted by 42 UK Businesses Bringing Together All Links in the Plastic Production Chain

Unnecessary single-use plastic packaging will be a thing of the past as businesses sign up to a 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. The UK Plastics Pact, launched today by sustainability experts WRAP, is a unique collaboration which brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste.

Today 42 businesses, including major food, drink and non-food brands, manufacturers and retailers right through to plastic re-processors and packaging suppliers have made their commitment to the pact.

Some of the businesses include Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Marks & Spencer, Procter & Gamble, Tesco and many others.

These pact members are responsible for over 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets. In addition, 15 other organisations have also shown their commitment to the UK Plastics Pact.

This powerful collective has committed to hit a series of ambitious targets by 2025: to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models; for 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; for 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted; and for a 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

The UK Plastics Pact is the first of its kind in the world. It will be replicated in other countries to form a powerful global movement for change as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. It is being led by WRAP, a group of sustainability experts.

“Together, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink and reshape the future of plastic so that we retain its value, and curtail the damage plastic waste wreaks on our planet. This requires a wholescale transformation of the plastics system and can only be achieved by bringing together all links in the chain under a shared commitment to act.

“That is what makes the pact unique. It unites every body, business and organisation with a will to act on plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can,” said WRAP CEO, Marcus Gover.

“We are delighted to launch this pioneering national implementation initiative with WRAP in the UK. This bold new pact will bring together businesses, policymakers and the public to create a circular economy for plastics that tackles the causes of plastic waste and pollution, not just the symptoms.

“Focusing on innovation, better packaging design and end-of-use systems will not only generate long-term benefits for the environment, but is also a huge economic opportunity. We encourage others around the world to help drive this momentum towards finding global solutions to what is a global problem,” said Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

In the UK, the pact will stimulate innovative new business models to reduce the total amount of plastic packaging. It will also help build a stronger recycling system, where consumers take more responsibility for waste and ensure plastic packaging can be effectively recycled and made into new products and packaging and, with the support of governments, ensure consistent UK recycling is met.

The immediate focus will be on identifying the priority projects that will deliver greatest impacts in the short and long term, such as 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.

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