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Initiative to create 'a plastic system that works'

Plastic waste stream

WRAP and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) are to launch an initiative in the spring for plastics waste that will “redefine what is possible and create a plastic system that works”.

The “ambitious” UK initiative was unveiled in the Government’s 25-year environment plan. Work is currently underway to engage all parties, agree the ambitions and set up the initiative.

It will involve collaborative action and commitment by businesses, industry, governments, local authorities, NGOs, media and society at large.

Its initial focus will be on plastic packaging and will aim to:

  • Eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use plastic packaging
  • Make sure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • Significantly increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging
  • Increase recycled content in plastic packaging to drive demand for recycled material
  • Impassion and enable citizens to play their part in reducing plastic packaging waste and litter

Marcus Gover, chief executive at WRAP, said: “So far the solutions to plastic waste have been piecemeal. I am pleased to be leading this holistic initiative which will transform the UK’s plastics system.

”Working with the EMF, we will bring together every ‘body, business and organisation’ involved in the life-cycle of plastics to make the move from a throwaway culture to one where resources are used over and over again.”

The 25-year plan also stated that WRAP would be working with retailers to ”explore introducing plastic-free supermarket aisles in which all the food is loose”.

The initiative is to be the first of a network of national implementation initiatives of the New Plastics Economy in several countries around the world, complementing the EMF’s global initiative.

Dame Ellen MacArthur said: “Creating a circular economy for plastics amounts to a huge opportunity for the economy as well as providing a longer-term benefit for the environment. Achieving it will require close collaboration and significant commitment from industry, the Government and society at large.

”We are delighted to work with WRAP to help unleash such collaboration here in the UK, as a first national implementation initiative of our global New Plastics Economy initiative.”

Those who want to keep up to date on the initiative can visit:


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