The UK’s leading supermarkets, discounters and producers now have a clear framework for reducing the scourge of plastic waste, following the launch of Wrap’s UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025.
The roadmap includes key actions that businesses, including those which have already signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, should take now in order to hit a set of ambitious waste reduction targets, including the aim for all plastic packaging to be recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Together, UK Plastic Pact member businesses including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Lidl and Aldi, plus manufactures such as Coca Cola and Nestlé, are responsible for 80% of plastic packaging sold through UK supermarkets, and half of all packaging placed on the market.
The Roadmap is a guide for these businesses, and others, on what actions to take by when, and outlines some of the key challenges that will need to be overcome.
Achieving the milestones will bring huge benefits to the UK, but “will require tough decisions to be taken and significant investment made,” Wrap said.
Achieving the targets would require policy intervention and consumer buy in, as well as business action, Wrap chief executive Marcus Gover said.
The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 aims to move plastics from being a single-use disposable material to a “valued resource.”
If the targets are achieved, all plastic packaging will be recyclable or compostable by 2025 and 70% of all plastic packaging will be recycled or composted.
It also seeks to achieve a 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging by 2025.
The roadmap also sets two interim targets of April 2019 and the end of 2022 for increasing recycling and recycled content.
The need to drive demand for recycled content was highlighted in the chancellor’s recent budget proposal for a new tax on plastic packaging that doesn’t include at least 30% recycled content.