The UK Plastics Pact is transforming the way that the UK makes, uses and disposes of plastic – moving away from a linear plastics economy towards a circular system where we capture the value of plastics material – keeping plastic in the economy and out of the oceans. The UK Plastics Pact is doing this by bringing together governments, businesses, local authorities, citizens and NGOs behind a common vision and commitment to a set of ambitious targets.

Implemented in

  • Europe and Central Asia
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Consumer Goods

Type of initiative
Education & Awareness Raising, Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Civil society

Start date
26/04/2018

Shared by

Claire Kneller

Head of Food- WRAP Global

WRAP

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Objectives

The Plastics Pact is the first national implementation of the vision for a New Plastics Economy.To help The targets for 2025 are:
1. Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models;
2. 100% of plastics packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable;
3. 70% of plastics packaging effectively recycled or composted; and
4. 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

Reducing the use of plastic is critical – by avoiding unnecessary packaging, eliminating non-recyclable packaging, encouraging reuse and switching to other materials or business models where beneficial. However, we must guard against changes that affect consumer safety, product protection and food waste. Achieving these goals, which the Plastics Pact is helping with, would make plastics consumption and production much more sustainable.

Activities

• WRAP issued numerous reports, guidance and resources to help The UK Plastics Pact businesses support The UK Plastics Pact targets see
• Commitment by leading brands, retailers and food service businesses to design packaging to be recyclable and specify recycled content.
• convergence of polymers and eradication of problematic materials is happening that currently hamper plastics recycling e.g. PVC in the PET stream;
• national behaviour change campaign has been delivered to citizens;
• new technical and innovation projects commenced;
• baseline reporting for packaging data and tracking business activity.

Impact and Results

The UK Plastics Pact has 68 business members, representing retail, manufacturing, hospitality, the plastic supply sector, plastic recycling and resource management. Together, WRAP estimates these members are responsible for approx. 85% of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets, and approximately 50% of the total plastic packaging placed on the UK market. The Pact also has over 35 supporting organisations (mainly trade and sector associations, technology and data companies). The UK Governments are part of the Pact. Support and involvement from such a large percentage of plastics producers means the impact of the pact will be huge. The project was successfully launched in April 2018, with good media coverage and promotional material including a video.

Next steps and how to get involved

More information about the Pact can be found on WRAP's website.