Leading pact by United Kingdom businesses to cut plastic pollution

UK food companies issue pledges on plastics

42 businesses, including major food, drink and non-food brands, manufacturers and retailers right through to plastic reprocessors and packaging suppliers, sign up to a world-first pact, which aims to transform the plastic packaging system in the United Kingdom and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.

These members are responsible for over 80 per cent of the plastic packaging on products sold through United Kingdom supermarkets, with Asda, Tesco, Unilever and many others signed up.

The stakeholders committed to the pact are responsible for more than 80% of plastic packaging on products in the UK.

"Through our first-of-a-kind Pact we will work together with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic so that we retain its value, particularly in reducing food and drink waste, but prevent it from polluting the environment".

What does the pact involve?

The charity has worked with WRAP on the United Kingdom pact, which MacArthur described as "bold".

On a global basis, only 14% of plastic is collected for recycling. In addition, 15 other organisations have also shown their commitment to the Pact.

In January when UK-based supermarket chain Iceland announced plans to remove plastic packaging from all own-brand food by 2023, it said that United Kingdom supermarkets generate 1 million mt of plastic waste annually.

The initiative is designed to reduce plastic waste which ends up in the oceans and on beaches
The initiative is designed to reduce plastic waste which ends up in the oceans and on beaches Credit AFP

The Pact brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with the United Kingdom government and NGOs.

The consequences of plastic have come under close scrutiny in the United Kingdom following the broadcast of the BBC television series Blue Planet II, which focused on the devastating impact on marine life. Every year, the organization chooses a different environmental cause to focus on, and this year they are pushing to end plastic pollution.

He explained: "We have been working with a number of global consumer goods companies signed up to the Pact to ensure the valuable resources locked into complex laminated packaging can be recycled".

30 per cent average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

Morrisons has become the latest British supermarket to bow to growing pressure on the industry to tackle plastic waste, pledging that by 2025 all of its own brand plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable. It is being led by WRAP, the sustainability experts.

But she warned about recycling being of limited value as most plastics could only be recycled a few times before becoming unusable.

"The Plastic Pact is certainly a move in the right direction, however government measures are also needed to ensure everyone plays their part, and that these targets are actually met".

In the United Kingdom, the Pact will stimulate innovative new business models to reduce the total amount of plastic packaging. OPRL members are at the heart of this initiative. If we want this planet to survive for us to continue to live on it, we need to make major advancements in removing plastic from our way of life. "Expect more announcements from us soon!" They are the vital link in the custody chain - the only part of the cycle that is not in the control of companies or councils.

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