Roadmap to help UK businesses deliver ambitious plastics pact

It aims to enable the move of plastics from being a single-use disposable material to a ‘valued resource’

By Priyanka Shrestha

A new roadmap to enable businesses to deliver ambitious targets to reduce plastic pollution has been launched.

More than 60 businesses in the UK, including Aldi, Asda, Coca-Cola, M&S, P&G, Premier Foods, Pizza Hut and Suez, signed up to a voluntary pledge earlier this year to tackle plastic waste through collaboration under the UK Plastics Pact launched by sustainability campaign group WRAP.

They are responsible for around 80% of plastic packaging sold through supermarkets and half of all packaging placed on the market.

They aim to ensure 100% of plastics packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable, 70% “effectively recycled or composted” and 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025.

The roadmap is a guide for these organisations and others on the actions that need to be taken and some of the key challenges that will need to be overcome.

It aims to enable the move of plastics from being a single-use disposable material to a “valued resource”, in line with the circular economy model, while avoiding unintended environmental consequences.

WRAP has set interim targets for increasing recycling and recycled content by three key milestone dates – April 2019, the end of 2022 and 2025.

Marcus Gover, Chief Executive of WRAP said: “We have 68 of the UK’s largest businesses and organisations committed to the UK Plastics Pact from retail and brands, manufacturers and hospitality to the plastics supply sector, recycling and resource management.

“The roadmap is a real opportunity for them to forge ahead and make change happen at scale and in significant ways. But these targets cannot be delivered by business action alone. It needs policy intervention as well as consumers to play a part. Factors like Extended Producer Responsibility are going to have a profound influence on momentum and effecting change in areas such as collections, recycling and reprocessing.”

Earlier this year, the UK Government announced plans to ban plastic straws and stirrers within a year in England.

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