UK retailers are signing up to the UK Plastics Pact, which aims to make all plastic packaging recyclable, recycled or biodegradable by 2025. London department store Selfridges was a catalyst for other stores, when it banned all sales of single-use plastic bottles for fizzy drinks from its stores earlier this month.
Supermarket giants Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl, Waitrose and Tesco have all signed up to the new industry-wide initiative, however despite the progress, many have criticised the pact for not going far enough and failing to enforce change from the retail industry. Retailers including Marks & Spencer have also pledged to join the plastics ban.
Retailers in the UK pay less than any European country towards the handling of their waste, with 90 per cent of the bill being paid by the taxpayer.
“Our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste will only be realised if government, businesses and the public work together,” environment secretary Michael Gove said.
“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’s chief executive Marcus Gover added: “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 whole scale transformation of the plastics system and can only be achieved by bringing together all links in the chain under a shared commitment to act.”
The UK Plastics Pact is the first of its kind in the world. It will be replicated in other countries to form a powerful global movement for change as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. It is being led by WRAP, the sustainability experts.
Photo source WRAP website