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WRAP announces UK Plastics Pact

The UK Plastics Pact launched by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is a collaboration which brings together businesses from across the plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the issue of plastic waste.

42 businesses, including major food, drink and non-food brands, manufacturers and retailers, plastic reprocessors and packaging suppliers have made their commitment to the Pact.

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 Pact.

The Pact members have committed to hit a series of targets by 2025:

  • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models
  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

The secretary of state for the environment, Michael Gove spoke at the launch event in London, which was hosted by WRAP. Gove was joined by Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and WRAP CEO Marcus Gover, to officially unveil the Pact and start the journey to transforming the UK plastics system.

Gove says, “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.”

Gover adds, “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 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.

WRAP will be launching a campaign in the summer to engage citizens and encourage everyone to take action.

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