April 26, 2018
WRAP has launched a “unique collaboration” UK-wide, uniting businesses, NGOs and government organisations in an effort to tackle the growing plastic pollution problem, as CIWM reports.
The UK Plastics Pact, which WRAP explains is a world-first, has so far signed up 42 businesses, “including major food and drink brands, manufacturers and retailers”, to eradicate single-use plastics.
These businesses “are responsible for over 80 percent of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets”.
15 other organisations have also demonstrated their commitment to the Pact, which has a number of key aims set out, to be fulfilled by 2025. These include:
- The elimination of “problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging”
- 100 percent of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
- 70 percent of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted
- 30 percent average recycled content across all plastic packaging
WRAP has explained that the pact will also be extended to other countries “as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative”.
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “Our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste will only be realised if government, businesses and the public work together. Industry action can prevent excess plastic reaching our supermarket shelves in the first place.
“I am delighted to see so many businesses sign up to this pact and I hope others will soon follow suit.”
WRAP CEO, Marcus Gover, said: “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 UK Plastics Pact unique. It unites everybody, business and organisation with a will to act on plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can.”
The Pact will have a variety of effects and benefits in the UK, among them the generation of “innovative new business models to reduce the total amount of plastic packaging”, and the development of a “stronger recycling system”.
The initial focus of the Pact 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.”
Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “This bold new pact will bring together businesses, policymakers and the public to create a circular economy for plastics that tackles the causes of plastics waste and pollution, not just the symptoms.
“Focussing 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.”
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