UK organisations call for government action against plastics

Not-for-profit, City to Sea, has written an open letter to the UK’s political parties calling for stronger action to be taken against single use plastics. 

Signed by over 35 organisations and celebrity supporters, including TV personality Rob Rinder, Greenpeace UK, Oceana UK, Able and Cole and the University of West England, the letter calls for legally binding plastic reuse targets. It was delivered to the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties at their London headquarters. 

City to Sea has criticised the slow progress in transitioning away from single-use packaging and demands that 30 percent of packaging be reusable by 2030. The not for profit has said that single-use plastic packaging remains the leading cause of plastic pollution in the UK, with households discarding nearly two billion pieces each week.  

As the general election campaign unfolds, parties are being urged to commit to combating plastic pollution by adopting City to Sea’s reuse manifesto. 


Rudy Schulkind, political campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “14 years of piecemeal action and broken promises by the government has seen the plastics crisis spiral out of control. Time and time again they’ve given in to the interests of the plastics industry instead of taking decisive action. The public are rightly furious and want change.  

“That’s why over 200,000 came together through The Big Plastic Count to reveal that 1.7 billion pieces of plastic are thrown away each week – and only 17% is recycled. The next government has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn the tide by introducing binding reuse targets in the UK and to lead on the world stage by securing a Global Plastics Treaty that cuts production.” 


Campaigners are advocating for a national shift to reuse and refill systems to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic packaging. City to Sea’s award-winning Refill campaign has already helped reduce plastic usage, saving an estimated 60 million plastic bottles by connecting people to places where they can eat, drink, and shop without relying on single-use plastic.  

Research from the charity shows that 70% of British people now regularly use reusable water bottles. 


Jane Martin, CEO of City to Sea, said: “It’s brilliant to see so many organisations, from NGOs such as Greenpeace and Oceana and brands such as Ocean Bottle, unite behind a reuse revolution. Here at City to Sea, we have been working with our partners to expand refill and reuse trials, helping industry to take steps towards a world with less plastic pollution. 

‘However, for real change to take place, a level playing field, facilitated by government intervention, is crucial andbusinesses must be operating within a harmonised regulatory framework. Through our manifesto, we are calling for government commitment to tangible measures such as supporting a legally binding Global Plastics Treaty, rolling out Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and a complete ban on single-use packaging. The time to act is now.” 

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