Key actions businesses should take to help stop plastic packaging polluting the environment have been laid out by WRAP in the UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025, published today (15 November).
The actions relate to a series of milestones aligned with the targets (see below) of The UK Plastics Pact, which is said by WRAP to be a world first in tackling the issue of plastic waste “through collaboration across the entire supply chain”. And, it sees the UK acting as a test bed for a planned network of “country-specific, global Plastics Pacts”.
The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 provides a framework for all businesses, including members, to deliver the targets. Together, UK Plastic Pact member businesses are responsible 80% of plastic packaging sold through UK supermarkets, and half of all packaging placed on the market, WRAP explained.
In a statement the charity noted: “The Roadmap is a guide for businesses and others to know what actions need to be taken, by when, and outlines some of the key challenges that will need to be overcome. It has been designed by WRAP as a living document that will evolve over time, reflecting changes in policy and innovations. The Roadmap also includes commentary on the complementary roles of Government and citizens to ensure the UK moves towards a circular economy for plastics.
(above: Helen Bird, WRAP Plastics Specialist on the Pact)
Marcus Gover, Chief Executive of WRAP explains; “We have sixty-eight of the UK’s largest businesses and organisations committed to the UK Plastics Pact from retail and brands, manufacturers and hospitality, to the plastic supply sector, recycling and resource management. I’m very impressed with progress made in the first six months since we launched the Pact. This is proving to be a powerful and motivated group. The Roadmap is a real opportunity for them to forge ahead and make change happen at scale, and in significant ways.
“But these targets cannot be delivered by business action alone. It needs policy intervention as well as consumers to play a part. Factors like Extended Producer Responsibility are going to have a profound influence on momentum, and effecting change in areas such as collections, recycling and reprocessing.”
(above, Richard Kirkman of Veolia talking about the Plastics Pact)
WRAP has set three key milestones dates: April 2019, the end of 2022 and finally by 2025.
Member companies, which include Veolia and Viridor are being asked to take actions including:
- Embed targets and interim milestones in corporate and organisational targets.
- Review packaging ranges and portfolios to identify opportunities to improve recyclability, recycled content, and consumer messaging.
- Develop clear accountability internally; provide objectives and training to category, procurement and technical teams.
- Support consumer behaviour change on recycling and reuse, through corporate and brand channels.
- Initiate new partnerships for innovation with suppliers, customers, funders, local authorities and technology providers.
- Work with suppliers to obtain accurate data for tracking and reporting progress.
- Review own operations and practices to ensure they support The UK Plastics Pact targets.
In the coming months WRAP is to publish further guidance on recyclability, including the recyclability of card-based packaging. To achieve the roadmap milestones, members will need to create their own action plans that support each target. WRAP will monitor progress and identify the opportunities for sharing good practice and convening collaborative action.
WRAP is leading several work streams ahead of the first milestone, including the development of a strategy for recycling household film and a number of trial projects, as well as developing criteria for unnecessary and problematic plastics, and options to tackle them.
For more information, visit: Plastics Pact