The UK Plastics Pact - progress against targets

Our members and partners are already doing some amazing work towards delivering the four UK Plastic Pact targets and we’d like to show you just a snapshot, to inspire your business to action by sharing innovative ideas.

Check back to see how they are all getting on throughout the commitment, as we will be adding to this as more work is successfully implemented onto the marketplace.

TARGET 1 – Eliminate single-use packaging

  • Pizza Hut Restaurants, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons and Lidl have all stopped selling or giving away plastic straws. Pizza Hut Restaurants’ customers now have to request a straw, resulting in a 90% reduction in straws being used.
  • Asda and Morrisons are starting to remove some of the single-use packaging on their fresh produce ranges. Asda have removed the plastic from six million swedes, resulting in a 14 tonne reduction of plastic. Morrisons are trialling the effect of removing plastic packaging from fresh fruit and veg in a number of their stores – replacing the single-use plastic bags with paper versions. 
  • Asda, Morrisons and Lidl have all removed plastic stemmed cotton buds from their stores, replacing them with paper or biodegradable alternatives. 

TARGET 2- 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable 

  • The majority of Quorn’s in-store packaging has changed from black to white or clearer alternatives, saving 300 tonnes of black plastic from entering the value chain each year. 
  • Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has launched smart Coca-Cola fountain dispensers in partnership with the University of Reading and at Summer festivals. The refillable containers are micro-chipped to interact with the dispenser technology, allowing students and staff to buy all their soft drinks in reusable bottles. This refill system will test new technology and consumers’ adoption of refillable types of packaging.
  • Braiform developed the first-ever closed loop hanger solution. By partnering with retailers and garment manufacturers they have created a reuse system for hangers that dramatically reduce the number that ends up in landfill. In 2017, they reused over 1 billion items, representing the same reduction in carbon emissions generated from manufacturing over 4 billion plastic bags.
  • Both Coca Cola and Highland Spring have made all their packaging, including the bottle caps and labels 100% recyclable. 
  • Ecover’s bottles are designed to be re-usable and Ecover has offered refill solutions for a number of years. They offer consumers 5 litre ‘drums’ to buy online that can be used to refill their bottles at home and 15 litre bag in box refills in selected health food stores across the UK in washing-up liquid, laundry liquids and all-purpose cleaners. To make bottles more recyclable Ecover do not use bright colours – the white or transparent plastic they use is easier to recycle because it is easier to re-dye and re-purpose. 
  • Morrisons has pledged to ensure 100% of the plastic in its own-brand packaging is recyclable by 2025 and the retailer is currently 82% of the way towards this aim.
  • Tesco's organic bagged prepared salads are the first to move to PE film plastic to increase recyclability. The PE film can be recycled into their 10p bags for life that are made from 94% recycled plastic, 80% of which is recycled material from recovered Tesco packaging waste. 
  • Lidl has replaced all black plastic in their fresh produce range, replacing with recyclable alternatives, saving an estimated 50 tonnes of black plastic waste per year. 
  • Aldi have switched the packaging for a range of cooked meat from non-recyclable packaging to clear, recyclable alternatives to save more than 1,000 tonnes of plastic annually.
  • Novamont have collaborated with the Co-op to create compostable dual use carrier bags, replacing their current 60 million single-use plastic carrier bags with an EN 13432 certified compostable alternative. After carrying shopping home, consumers are encouraged to reuse the bags to line food caddies which will be accepted by over 150 local authority food waste collection systems.  Alternatively, they can be home composted.
  • Nestlé have changed the colour of their Nescafe Original caps from dark brown to red and their Nescafe Gold Blend Barista Style lids from black to gold as they are widely recyclable, and this ensures that they will be detectable in the recycling system.
  • Asda have moved from black polystyrene pots to green polypropylene pots for their 'Growing Herbs' range, as well as changing the SRP trays they sit in from black plastic to clear. 2.7 million trays and 48 tonnes of plastic are now fully recyclable.

TARGET 3 – 70% of packaging effectively recycled or composted

  • Some of The UK Plastics Pact members are encouraging their customers to recycle by giving easy to access advice via an app and are making sure their packaging is as recyclable as possible. OPRL have developed 1) a handy app for consumers to check whether they can recycle packaging at a particular location, now piloting in Leeds; 2) an online design tool which advises whether the UK’s recycling infrastructure is likely to capture the materials and components in the recycling process. 
  • 99.3% of Charpak’s waste was recycled or composted in 2017.
  • Morrisons has installed reverse-vending machines for plastic bottles at two of its Yorkshire stores for a six-month trial, with a view to a wider rollout.
  • Asda have local authority recycling collections at approximately 70% of their stores, as well as carrier bag recycling bins in all their large stores.
  • Following a successful 12 months pioneering its in-store service across the UK with the world’s leading coffee retail brands, Veolia will have collected 50 million cups by the end of 2018 and is set to collect 120 million coffee cups for recycling in 2019
  • Veolia has worked with local authorities to implement a closed loop solution, recycling 1,000 tonnes of single use carrier bags into refuse sacks and delivering back to authorities. 
  • Viridor have collaborated with Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and food packaging manufacturer Faerch Plast to create a circular solution to black plastic. Since July 2018, 120 tonnes of coloured PET plastic, which includes black plastic has been recycled each month at Viridor’s plastics recycling facilities. The flakes and pellets are used to manufacture new packaging for Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. 
  • Coca-Cola use on-pack messaging to encourage people to recycle – a “Recycle Me” message is now on the closures of nearly 500 million bottles every year. 
  • Ella’s Kitchen have been working with TerraCycle since 2010 to provide a recycling solution for all baby food pouches. ‘EllaCycle’ works by pouches being collected via a network of public drop off locations which are then sent back to TerraCycle who turn them into plastic items such as benches, watering cans and plant pots.

TARGET 4- 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025

  • In January 2018 Ecover launched a new 100% recycled plastic (PCR), recyclable, washing-up liquid bottle. The bottle is made from transparent, 100% recycled PETand mostly comes from used soft drink or water bottles. The rest of Ecover’s bottles are made from 25% recycled plastic (either PET or HDPE) and 75% plant plastic, which is made from renewable sugarcane.
  • In October 2018 Ecover is trialling recycled plastic in its caps for the first time.  Introducing 50% post-consumer recycled polypropylene plastic in 200,000 of its caps in Europe in October 2018. Most caps are made from virgin polypropylene plastic. By starting to use recycled polypropylene, Ecover wants to help create an economic demand for recycling it. 
  • All Innocent bottles contain a minimum of 30% recycled plastic and their new smoothie bottle contains 50% recycled plastic and 15% plant plastic. This is their next major step towards having a completely renewable bottle (made only of recycled and plant plastic) by 2022.
  • Charpak’s clear and black recycled PET packaging contains 50% post-consumer waste and up to 40% post industrial waste. 
  • In 2017, Procter & Gamble launched the Fairy Ocean Plastic bottle made 100% from post-consumer recycled plastic and ocean plastic. Over 320,000 Fairy Ocean Plastic bottles were made in this material. 
  • Highland Spring has launched a trial bottle made from 100% recycled plastic.
  • Aldi have saved 139 tonnes of virgin plastic per year by using 95% recycled plastic in their pasta pots.  
  • Tesco flavoured water bottles have been reduced in weight and now have a 25% recycled content (rising to 51% soon).  Over 540 tonnes of plastic per annum have been removed.


Updated: 12 October 2018