How WRAP supports a circular economy

A circular economy is about valuing our products differently and creating a more robust economy in the process. By assessing how we design, make, sell, re-use and recycle products we can determine how to get the maximum value from them, both in use and at the end of their life. What does this mean in practical terms? As a company, how do you move to more ‘circular’ models? Where are the new business opportunities? This short video answers these questions, and the role WRAP can play in helping realise the business benefits of a circular economy.


WRAP has a proven track record in catalysing change across entire sectors and delivering tangible impact as a result; between 2008 and 2011 we generated £2.2billion of benefit to the UK economy.

WRAP is working at all points of the circular economy by:

  • making resource use more efficient;
  • reducing the production of waste;
  • maximising the recycling of waste; and
  • identifying alternative business models.

For example, WRAP was instrumental in turning the problem of plastic waste into a thriving industry. We:

  • developed solutions for recycling PET drinks bottles and overcame significant technological barriers to producing food grade recycled HDPE for milk bottles. 
  • led the development of recycling processes for mixed plastics such as yoghurt pots and margarine containers
  • worked to change consumer behaviour and supported LA collections, increasing the recycling rate of plastic bottles from 5% in 2000 to 48% in 2011. 
  • Provided financial support to develop processing infrastructure.

Together, UK sales of food grade recycled plastics from plants WRAP supported is around £66 million a year, proving the market is sufficiently viable to encourage commercial investment.

Current priority areas for WRAP include: