Pepsi – UK’s largest companies have lower pointless plastic packaging by 40%
Companies signed as much as WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact, which is supported by the likes of Unilever, Nestle and PepsiCo, collectively produced 40% fewer non-recyclable and pointless items of plastic packaging this yr than in 2018.
The progress has been revealed in WRAP’s second annual progress report on the Pact, printed immediately (eight December). Greater than 150 organisations have signed as much as the Pact so far and the report particulars information from all companies members disclosing information to WRAP.
Underneath the pact, signatories make 4 primary commitments for 2025: eliminating pointless single-use packaging by way of redesign; making all plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable; attaining recycling and composting charges of 70% or extra for packaging, and together with 30% recycled content material throughout all packaging.
The report reveals that significantly sturdy progress has been made in the direction of the primary dedication, round discount. Pact signatories collectively produced 40% fewer packaging gadgets thought of pointless or hard-to-recycle in 2019 than in 2018. By way of tonnage, the discount is round 30%.
WRAP lessons plastic cutlery, plates and bowls, straws, cotton buds and drinks stirrers on this class, together with polystyrene, PVC and controversial oxo-degradable plastics. Regardless of sturdy progress total, the physique has famous particular challenges for pharmaceutical companies attempting to part out PVC and suppliers of dairy merchandise and white items attempting to get rid of polystyrene. Just like the Ellen MacArthur Basis, it has additionally tracked a pattern in the direction of lighter-weight packaging and different supplies taking precedence over reusable containers.
With this in thoughts, WRAP will publish up to date recommendation on eliminating downside plastics early subsequent yr. It can additionally encourage the Authorities to speed up work to implement the Sources and Waste Technique, which has stalled as a result of Covid-19.
Progress in the direction of the Pact’s second goal, protecting recyclability, was not so promising. Some 64% of the plastic packaging positioned on the UK market by Pact signatories was classed as extensively recycled – the identical proportion year-on-year.
Whereas many signatories have eliminated non-recyclable black packaging or redesigned the plastic sleeve on drinks bottles, many others are nonetheless reliant on versatile plastic packaging. Versatile plastics account for 1 / 4 of all UK shopper plastic packaging by weight, however simply 4% is recycled. Not many native authorities accumulate this kind of plastic.
WRAP is recommending that companies that are unable to shift to another format scale up and speed up work to dramatically enhance assortment and recycling infrastructure.
The report states that the proportion of the members’ packaging that may be classed as extensively recycled would rise to 79% if the UK had the at-scale infrastructure for processing mono-material movies. Some members have invested in focused take-back schemes or chemical recycling pilots, however WRAP is worried that this method is just too piecemeal and isn’t including up rapidly sufficient.
WRAP chief govt Marcus Gover mentioned he’s “delighted” with a few of the Pact’s outcomes to date – however that there’ll “always” be extra to do.
“Developing solutions to overcome the challenges of recycling flexible plastic packaging will be a particular priority,” he mentioned. “Collection points for plastic bags and films at supermarkets will be an important step in the right direction, but we need all supermarkets to collect all plastic films to make this work.”