Why do we need The UK Plastics Pact?

Ocean with plastic bag and turtle

Our throwaway culture needs to change.

We need 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 plastic in the economy and out of the oceans.

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

  • Not all packaging is designed in a way that it can be recycled e.g. black plastic.
  • Consumers are confused about what they can and cannot recycle.
  • There is inconsistent household recycling provision - 1 in 4 UK local authorities do not collect pots, tubs and trays.
  • Plastics are entering the natural environment - approx. 5,000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.
  • We are very reliant on export markets for recycling - currently 67%.
  • Current packaging legislation does not drive a system where plastics never become waste.

The UK Plastics Pact will generate a fundamental change in the way we design, produce, use, re-use, dispose and reprocess plastics.