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Plastics Pact gains more members

plastic waste

High street retailer Boots and food manufacturer Tulip are among a raft of new organisations to sign up to WRAP’s Plastics Pact.

Since its launch in April, 20 more business members have been added to the Pact, which aims to significantly cut the amount of plastic in the environment.

The additions bring the total to 64 businesses, responsible for more than 80% of plastic packaging on products sold in UK supermarkets.

There are also now 22 supporting organisations, including governments, NGOs and trade bodies such as the British Plastics Federation, the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium, creating a total of 86 members and supporters of the Pact.

The Pact’s targets include eliminating single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or reuse by 2025.

Also by this date it aims for 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, with 70% effectively recycled or composted, and 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

In an update on the Pact’s progress since its launch, WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover said the first meeting of an advisory group was held in June, while ’collaborative action groups’ are starting to look at specific aspects such as defining ‘problematic’ single-use plastic, what is recyclable, reusable and compostable, as well as tackling the challenges of flexible film.

Gover said that industry-wide consultations conducted by WRAP, along with Incpen and the Advisory Committee on Packaging, had demonstrated widespread support for radical reform.

He added that the Government’s underpinning of commitments made by businesses would be key to reaching the goals of the Pact, and that he was encouraged by environment secretary Michael Gove’s recognition that the recommendations would inform policy.

Gover said the Pact was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fix the broken plastic system.

“And that is what we are embarking on with the Pact,” he said. “Change right across the system – from the way we design, produce and consume plastic to how it is collected, sorted and reprocessed.

”This means a complete rethink and redesign of the linear ‘take, make, dispose’ throwaway culture which has predominated in the past, to the circular model of the future.”

Packaging firm Coveris, one of the latest businesses to sign up to the Pact, has announced a set of environmental commitments as part of its ’Pack Positive’ strategy. It includes a three-point reduce, recycle, sustain strategy which focuses on supply chain collaboration and education.

Coveris UK president Gary Rehwinkel said: “In recent years, we have has worked strategically with retailers and manufacturers to drive down food waste across the supply chain and improve the functionality of packaging.

”We now need to broaden our long-term sustainable outlook to focus more on the end-of-life function of our products to support a circular economy and ensure our recyclable products are in fact recycled.”

The first major gathering of members and supporters of the Plastics Pact will be in October, where progress will be reviewed and a roadmap launched to set expectations towards reaching the 2025 targets.

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