Food businesses sign up to UK Plastics Pact

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Food businesses have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact
Food businesses have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact
Food and drink manufacturing businesses have joined forces to tackle plastic pollution.

The UK Plastics Pact, launched by WRAP, has been signed by 42 businesses across the food manufacturing, retail and Government agencies. Through the pact, it has set out ambitious targets for between now and 2025.

These include the elimination of problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models; for 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; for 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted and for 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

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.”

WRAP ceo Marcus Gover said: “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 everybody, business and organisation with a will to act on plastic pollution. We will never have a better time to act, and together we can.”

Several meat processing businesses have become founding members of the UK Plastics Pact.

Cranswick Group commercial director Jim Brisby said: “Following the launch of our sustainability strategy, Second Nature, earlier this year, we’re delighted to announce our latest plastics commitment as a founding partner of The UK Plastics Pact, led by WRAP. We look forward to collaborating with our peers to affect real and long-term change as we take responsibility for and work to overcome the worldwide issue of plastic waste.”

ABP Food Group’s group technical and sustainability director Dean Holroyd said: “At ABP we are committed to doing all possible to minimise the impact of plastic on the environment. We see this as a great challenge and a huge opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded businesses to make a real and tangible difference in the fight against plastic at our sites and across the wider supply chain without compromising on quality, shelf life or food safety.”

Dunbia corporate services director Alan McKeown said: “Dunbia is delighted to be a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact. We have already made significant progress in plastics reduction and the development of recyclable packaging options including the recent launch of a first to market, fully recyclable mince pack.  We look forward to making a meaningful contribution to this important initiative to reduce the unnecessary use of plastics in our economy.”

Soft drinks manufacturer Britvic has also signed up to the pact.

Matt Barwell, CMO and executive champion of Britvic’s A Healthier Everyday programme, explained the work it is doing to reduce plastic usage. 

“Already, all our PET plastic bottles are fully recyclable in the UK recycling system and carry the on-pack-recycling-label to encourage our consumers to recycle. In 2017 we removed 308 tonnes of primary plastic bottle packaging from our supply chain by moving products onto our new bottling lines and accessing lighter weight bottles.

“Looking to the future of packaging, we are currently trialling the use of recycled plastic (rPET) in our bottles to help us achieve our aim of significantly increasing the amount of rPET we use.  At the same time, we continue to invest in R&D to investigate the use of alternative sustainable materials to package our products.”

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