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Every major UK supermarket has signed a pact pledging to ditch unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025, promising that all the plastic packaging they produce will be reusable, recyclable or compostable within seven years.
The UK Plastics Pact was launched today by Wrap – a Government-backed charity which aims to work with businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with the UK Governments and NGOs to tackle plastic waste.
According to Wrap: “These Pact members are responsible for over 80 percent of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets.”
Under the terms of the pact, single-use plastics will only be permissible under certain stipulations – if they are deemed absolutely necessary and are made from recyclable materials.
Among items which could be banned if not made recyclable are single-use 5p carrier bags, plastic yoghurt pots, and fruit/vegetable multi-bags.
According to Wrap, The UK Plastics Pact is the first of its kind in the world. It hopes to see the Pact replicated in other countries to ‘form a powerful global movement for change’.
As the success of the plan will rely on consumers increasing their levels of recycling, the organization will be launching a major awareness campaign later this year.
Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, said: “Our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste will only be realised if Government, businesses and the public work together.
“Industry action can prevent excess plastic reaching our supermarket shelves in the first place.
“I am delighted to see so many businesses sign up to this pact and I hope others will soon follow suit.”
‘Once in a lifetime’
WRAP CEO, Marcus Gover, added: “Together, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink and reshape the future of plastic so that we retain its value, and curtail the damage plastic waste wreaks on our planet.
“This requires a wholescale transformation of the plastics system and can only be achieved by bringing together all links in the chain under a shared commitment to act. That is what makes the UK Plastics Pact unique.
“It unites every body, business and organisation with a will to act on plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can.”