11 January 2018 by Joshua Doherty

WRAP launches initiative to ‘transform’ plastic system

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has launched an initiative to help “turn the tide on the UK’s growing issue of plastic waste”.

As revealed today, in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, it will be the first of a network of national implementation initiatives of the New Plastics Economy in several countries around the world.

The end of free plastic bags (pictured) and the introduction of a 5p charge for plastic bags has been extended to all retailers

The UK initiative will aim to “re-define what is possible and create a plastic system that works” by collaborating with businesses, industry, government and local authorities.

The initiative is currently in development by WRAP, and is a joint partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.


In the 25 year Environment Plan that was released earlier today (11 January), the government pledged to work with WRAP to introduce plastic free aisles in supermarkets.

The government also said it would support WRAP in “working with industry and local authorities to ensure that a consistent set of materials are collected by all local authorities.”

The Plan read: “WRAP is working to develop a new cross-sector commitment to tackle plastic waste. This will align with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastic Economy and have an initial focus on plastic packaging.”


The initial focus of the WRAP scheme will be on plastic packaging and will aim to eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use packaging.

It will also aim to make sure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable, increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging and increase the recycled content to drive demand for recycled plastic material.

Marcus Gover, CEO at WRAP explained that the scheme will “transform the UK plastics system” as opposed to the “piecemeal” solution offered so far. He said: “We will bring together every body, business and organisation involved in the life-cycle of plastics to make the move from a throw away culture to one where resources are used over and over again”.

The initiative will be officially launched in the spring. WRAP say it is currently working to engage all parties and agree the schemes ambition.

WRAP itself has benefited from the introduction of the 5p levy on plastic bags as it is one of the beneficiaries from the money collected by the supermarkets.



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