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Gove sets out sustainable plastic goals

Environment secretary Michael Gove has called for a cross-sector plan for plastics following public concern over packaging.

Among the minister’s goals reported after an industry round table on 1 December are greater recycling and recyclability and more incentives for producers and consumers.

The event was attended by representatives of retailers, brands, manufacturers and organisations. Paul Vanston, chief executive of the packaging industry group Incpen, said Gove was ”very engaged and passionate” and wanted the UK to show leadership at home and abroad.

“He was clear he wished multiple sectors to come together to create a plan that tackles the variety of challenges at hand. Those sectors include the packaging supply chain, local government, resources and waste management, and reprocessors,” said Vanston.

Issues to be addressed in the plan included greater recycling and recyclability of plastics and reducing the range of polymers to help this; incentivising both producers and consumers; the problems of ‘on the go’ living; and increasing awareness along the value chain.

Gove invited WRAP to lead industry discussions in the coming weeks to produce the plan which could inform Defra’s forthcoming resources and waste strategy.

“As Incpen’s ambitions align closely with the outputs from the round table meeting, I am delighted to do all I can to secure progress with colleagues across the sectors through this WRAP-facilitated process,” Vanston added.

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