The UK Plastics Pact - 100 days of progress

A trailblazing initiative 

Plastics have an important role to play, particularly in protecting our food. However, the current plastics system is failing. 

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move away from a linear plastics economy, where we take, make and dispose of plastic, towards a circular system where we capture the value of plastics material - keeping it in the economy and out of the environment.

100 days have passed since we launched The UK Plastics Pact; the unique, trailblazing collective action which brings together government, business and citizens to transform the plastic system and achieve that vision.

Chief Executive Marcus Gover reflects on a busy 100 days … 

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The Pact goes from strength to strength now totalling 86 members and supporters  

We have had a fantastic response to the launch of the Pact.
 
Since launch, we have added around 20 new business members – the latest of which include Tulip and Boots – bringing the total to 64. Together, our business members are responsible for over 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets.
 
They are also joined by 22 supporting organisations, including from governments, NGOs, and trade bodies such as the British Plastics Federation, the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium.
 
It brings the current total to 86. Combined with the more than 400 other businesses and organisations who have expressed an interest in The UK Plastics Pact, this is a powerful platform for change.
 
Read more for details of members and what they have to say about the Pact. 
 
 

Meet The UK Plastics Pact Advisory group

The Pact’s Advisory Group will play a pivotal role in reviewing progress and keeping the Pact on track to 2025.

One of the key outcomes of the first meeting in June was an action to develop a high-level roadmap with interim milestones to share with members so we can set expectations and chart progress towards reaching the 2025 targets. We will be working on this over the Summer.

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Action from business - Collaborative Action Groups

The ‘engine room’ of The UK Plastics Pact are the Collaborative Action Groups which have been set up to drive delivery of the Pact’s ambitious targets.

The groups are bringing together the key players to share and review evidence and agree the main  areas of work . This will lead to the setting up of a number of collaborative project activities and development of guidance which will ultimately enable the Pact’s members to implement change.

“We have been delighted with the take-up of membership to our Collaborative Action Groups. Together, they bring a real depth of expertise and insight and cutting-edge thinking. This is important, ground-breaking work, and will help lay the foundations for making the targets and our ambition a reality.” Marcus Gover

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Understanding plastic packaging and the language we use to describe it

As many businesses are now weighing up their options for plastics, there are a number of things to consider.

Functionality and cost are always at front of mind, but we also need to factor in the end of life options within the existing infrastructure.  

To support informed choices, we have produced a guide – Understanding plastic packaging and the language we use to describe it to provide clarity in this complex area. It outlines the materials used to make packaging, the way plastics can behave and a handy lexicon for the different terminologies, including bioplastics.

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Our members taking action on plastics

There have been some bold and innovative measures taken by many of our members since the launch of the Pact.

Read more for just a selection


Action from government

Action from businesses will need to be underpinned by government policy which encourages and incentivises positive action. This is an important element of The UK Plastics Pact and what makes it so unique.

Read more about some of the action taken by governments since launch and of the importance of supporting local authorities to achieve consistency in collections.

 

Action by citizens – Reduce, re-use and recycle 

 
Ultimately, there is no single body, no single action which can work on its own to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution. We all have a part to play. And this includes all of us as citizens.
 
We want to provide people with the right information and motivation to, reuse and recycle and where possible to reduce their plastic packaging. 
 
Through Recycle Now, we developed a hard-hitting campaign aimed at encouraging consumers to recycle their plastic.
 

 

In the news

Future of Packaging - The Times supplement

Turning off the plastics tap - UN Environment

The UK Plastics Pact and why it matters – Virgin

Plastic Fantastic – BBC Radio 4

Plastics watch – BBC

Plastic and the Packaging Conundrum – The Grocer webinar

 

If you are interested in The UK Plastics Pact, please check our website for how you can subscribe to our latest news or contact us on ukplasticspact@wrap.org.uk