Leading UK businesses pledge action against plastic

By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 26 April 2018

Campaign group WRAP launches new “pact” to fight plastic pollution, with over 40 UK companies committing to take part.

© Charles Rondeau

If you love nature, you know that we must reduce the amount of useless plastic we produce and consume. In an ideal world all plastic items in circulation would be made from recycled materials and would go on to be recycled into something else at the end of their life.

This is called “plastic circularity”, a concept where no more “new” plastic is produced. A world that might be closer than we think.

Today, campaign group WRAP have announced a new pact to fight plastic pollution, with over 40 UK companies committing to take part in the pledge against single-use plastic waste. WRAP advocates for a circular system to deal with the plastic pollution crisis, where we keep plastic out of the natural environment but inside the economy.

They encourage rethinking the way we make, use and reuse plastic products so they don’t become waste in the first place. This is achieved through redesigning and innovating alternatives, as well as creating new systems to recycle the plastic currently in rotation.

Businesses including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons have promised to honour the new pledge, which includes an objective that all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. They join government, a selection of campaigners and trade associations, who have already given their support.

More than 80% of plastic packaging on products in UK supermarkets comes from businesses that have signed the agreement.

The pact includes promises to:

The plastics pact is voluntary and unfortunately has no enforcement mechanism. It also does not address the removal of all single-use packaging, instead pledging the removal of “problematic or unnecessary” single-use plastic.

Many retailers have taken small steps recently to reduce their levels of plastic pollution. These have included pledging to allow customers to bring their own containers for meat and fish produce and fitting drinking water fountains in stores to cut down on single-use plastic bottles.

Let’s hope that all of the signatories keep their promise!

Do you want to help stop the plastic tide? We are currently calling on UK governments to put a charge on single-use plastic throwaway items.

Actions you can take

  1. Help stop the plastic tide
  2. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2017

Did you know?…

MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters

Since the carrier bag charge came in across the UK, the Great British Beach Clean has recorded 40% fewer bags on beaches

On UK beaches levels of litter have doubled in the past 20 years

Stop the plastic tide

Support our appeal to turn the tide on plastics.

Find out more