As public awareness of the harm single use plastics have on the oceans, major companies are started to act in the United Kingdom. On the list includes mega-brands Aldi, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble who have reduced the amount of plastic they use and throw away in the United Kingdom.
They have all agreed to reduce their plastic packaging to meet 2025 targeted recycling goals as part of an initiative organized by the environmental advocacy group Wrap.
Wrap hopes that by 2025, The UK Plastics Pact will transform the UK plastic packaging sector by meeting four world-leading targets: 100% of plastic packaging to be resusable, recyclable or compostable, eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packing items through redesign, innovation or alternative methods, ensure that 7-% of plastic packaging has effectively been recycled or composted, and have an average of 30% for all recycled content across plastic packaging.
According to Wrap, the chains and brands that have signed up account for 80% of plastic packaging in UK supermarkets.
In a statement to Wrap, C oca-Cola European Partners, Vice President & General Manager, Leendert den Hollander, said: “Coca-Cola European Partners welcomes The UK Plastics Pact, and its ambitious targets. It is great to see the strength of commitment from the whole plastics value chain, and the government backing. As a business which has pioneered light-weighting and the use of recycled plastic, and invested in UK recycling capacity, we are keen to play a part in spearheading the transformation of the UK plastic packaging system. In our GB Packaging Strategy we committed to recover all of our packaging so that so that more is recycled and none ends up as litter, and we are doubling the amount of recycled plastic in our bottles to 50% by 2020. Collaboration is critical in reaching these targets and The Plastics Pact represents a key milestone, bringing together a range of stakeholders under one common goal.”
The environmental group said it hopes that more companies and organizations will join the pact, and that their efforts will spark similar initiatives in other global markets.
Plastic, with its low cost and wide range of possible uses, has become one of the world’s most popular materials. Although cheap, the indestructible material is having major consequences on our environment, particularly the oceans. By 2025, ocean plastic is expected to triple and the Great Garbage Patch was recently found to be 16 times larger than originally thought.
Wrap is asking recycling and waste collection companies to increase investment in technology that allows recycled materials to meet higher quality standards.
The plans for companies to reduce plastic have not become entirely clear how they will accomplish it but it is a great step forward in creating change. With Europe committing to such a large change, we need to continue to push companies in the United States to follow the same lead.