WRAP reveals UK is on target to reduce plastic.
In its first annual report for the UK Plastics Pact, the organisation added that members of the Pact are “over halfway towards all their packaging being recyclable”. It added that the UK is over halfway towards recycling 70% of plastic packaging.
The UK Plastics Pact, which has over 100 signatories across the packaging supply chain, has four targets to be achieved by 2025: 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; take action to eliminate “problematic or unnecessary” single use packaging; 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted; and an average recycled content of 30% across all plastic packaging.
The report outlines that supermarkets have already removed 3,400 tonnes of plastic packaging from fresh produce. Recent activity includes the removal of more than 19,000 tonnes of non-recyclable black plastic by supermarkets – the equivalent of 1.5 billion ready meal trays. By the end of 2020 all members are aiming to remove 21,000 tonnes of unrecyclable PVC and polystyrene from their packaging.
Marcus Gover, WRAP chief executive, said: “The way that we make, use and dispose of plastic is transforming, and I am proud of the progress that the Pact has made so far. But there is no magic wand – we’re unpicking a highly complex and well-established system and making sure that we don’t simply displace the environmental cost elsewhere. Retaining the valuable role plastic packaging plays, especially in preventing food waste, is crucial. We can’t gamble with the climate in our desire to tackle plastic pollution.”
WRAP added that Pact members are a third of the way towards an average of 30% recycled content in their plastic packaging. All the supermarkets are signed up to the On-Pack Recycling Labelling system and they are helping customers to recycle more by providing plastic recycling collection points in store for stretchy film plastic.
Gover added: “Moving forward we face significant challenges, particularly around films and flexible packaging, increasing recycling, and development of re-use and refill models. These will be our top priorities as we work urgently towards a world where plastic is valued and doesn’t pollute the environment.”