UK businesses make world-leading pact to tackle plastic pollution

Michael Gove UK Plastics Pact
Credit Henry Iddon

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 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 reprocessors and packaging suppliers have made their commitment to the Pact.

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 Pact.

This powerful collective has committed to hit a series of ambitious 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 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, the sustainability experts.

The Secretary of State for the Environment Rt. Hon Michael Gove spoke at the launch event, which is being hosted by WRAP.

Gove will be 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.

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.”

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