UK launches plastics pact to combat global plastics crisis

Most of the UK’s largest supermarkets have signed up to support the UK Plastics Pact – an industry-wide initiative launched by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The new pact aims to transform packaging and reduce avoidable plastic waste.

The new platform brings together businesses, governments, innovators, NGOs, and citizens on a national level to rally behind ambitious targets to stop plastics waste. Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose are among the 42 businesses so far supporting the new pledge, according to the Guardian.

Trigger for the pledge was the current plastics crisis that has grown into a global problem that, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, demands a global solution. To help drive the momentum towards that solution, sustainability experts Wrap (Waste and Resources Action Programme), and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have launched The UK Plastics Pact.

“Together, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink and reshape the future of plastic so that we retain its value, and curtail the damage plastic waste wreaks on our planet,” Wrap CEO, Marcus Gover, said.

The current UK pledge is the first of an international initiative, The Plastics Pact, that hopes to drive collaboration within multiple countries and regions. The final target is to achieve the shared vision of a circular economy for plastics, where plastics never end up as waste. A first aspiration is that by 2025 all plastic packaging can be reused, recycled or composted.

Like the UK Pact each single Plastics Pact is supposed to bring together local businesses, policy-makers, NGOs, and other stakeholders in each individual country, to set ambitious, time-bound targets, to eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use plastic packaging, and redesign all plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. Each pact will also increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging, as well as the recycled content used in plastic packaging.

Image credit: John McGarvey via Flickr

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