UK businesses sign world’s first pact to fight the plastic problem

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Businesses from across the plastic value chain have signed WRAP’s UK Plastic Pact to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging and to change the plastic recycling system in the UK. 

The Pact, launched today, is a collaboration between 15 organisations and 42 drink, food, non-food brand, manufacturing and retail businesses to tackle the plastic pollution in the economy and oceans. 

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Companies signed up include Coca-Cola, ASDA stores, Pizza Hut, Unilever and Aldi.  

WRAP has said that this Pact is the first of its kind in the world and will be followed in other countries to create a “global movement for change” as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. 

According to the organisation, these Pact members are responsible for over 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold throughout UK supermarkets.  

This collective has said it is committed to several targets by 2025, including: 

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

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.” 

The pact will generate innovative new business models to reduce the total quantity of plastic packaging, said WRAP, as well as help build a stronger recycling system, where we take more responsibility for our own waste.  

WRAP chief executive 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 every body, business and organisation with a will to act plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can.” 

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