More than 40 businesses and 15 organisations have become founding members of The UK Plastics Pact, the new joint initiative from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and the first of a global network which aims to make the entire plastics value chain work towards a set of targets that will keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment by 2025.
Those who have signed up to the pact are working to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative delivery models (e.g. re-use). The aim is to make sure 100% of future plastic packaging can be re-used, recycled or composted by 2025, with 70% effectively recycled or composted and 30% of all plastic packaging made from recycled content.
BBIA (The Bio-based and Biodegradable Industry Association), which has long been committed to advancing the bioeconomy and developing bio-based alternatives to plastics, was amongst one of the first to sign up.
BBIA Managing Director David Newman said: “We’re keen to be part of this transformation of the way in which we produce, use and dispose of plastics in the UK. Indeed, the UK has the potential to become a significant player in the new generation of compostable plastics, which can be used in food packaging and help to drive up food waste collections and recovery.
“As we strive to reduce plastics waste and increase food waste treatment, we can achieve both goals by adopting compostable plastics where perishable food packaging is needed, and get these back to composting and AD and to use on soil. We need high quality organic carbon to get back to soil in ever larger volumes to ensure long term sustainability of farming in the UK. Plastics, food, energy and soil are all interconnected themes that we want the Plastics Pact to pull together for the benefit of our environment and our economy.”
Cranswick plc, one of the UK’s largest fresh food producers, sees its decision to sign up as an extension of its own sustainability strategy, Second Nature, and had already pledged to reduce the weight of its plastic packaging from farm to fork by 50%, re-use all of its internal materials in a closed loop system and ensure that all packaging it uses is 100% easily recyclable.
Group Commercial Director Jim Brisby said: “We look forward to collaborating with our peers to affect real and long-term change as we take responsibility for and work to overcome the worldwide issue of plastic waste.”
SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, is keen to share its knowledge by signing up to the Pact. The company believes that chemical recycling is fundamental to closing the loop of plastic waste.
Leon Jacobs, Sustainability Lead for Europe, said: “Plastics should not end up in the environment, landfills or the oceans. At SABIC, we are planning to scale up high-quality recycling processes for chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste to the original polymer. SABIC has the know-how, the resources and the resolve to help reduce the waste-stream.”