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Transforming plastic waste

We’re all aware there is a growing problem with packaging waste in the UK and beyond, but now a new, collaborative initiative is promising to turn the tide on the issue.

If all of the plastic bottles that are not collected for recycling in the UK each year were placed end to end, they would go around the world 31 times, according to WRAP. It’s clear that wide-scale system change is required to make more of our plastic, keep it out of the ocean and in the economy.

The UK initiative aims to transform the UK’s plastics system and tackle plastic pollution. The initial focus will be on plastic packaging and will aim to eliminate unnecessary and problematic single-use plastic packaging; make sure all plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable; significantly increase the collection and recycling of plastic packaging; Increase recycled content in plastic packaging to drive demand for recycled material; and impassion and enable citizens to play their part in reducing plastic packaging waste and litter.

It is currently in development by WRAP and is a joint partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Revealed today (11 January), in the UK government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, it will be the first of a network of national implementation initiatives of the New Plastics Economy in several countries around the world. 

Marcus Gover, CEO at WRAP, says, “Working with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we will bring together every ‘body, business and organisation’ involved in the life-cycle of plastics to make the move from a throw away culture to one where resources are used over and over again.”

Dame Ellen MacArthur, adds, “Creating a circular economy for plastics amounts to a huge opportunity for the economy as well as providing a longer-term benefit for the environment. Achieving it will require close collaboration and significant commitment from industry, government, and society at large. We are delighted to work with WRAP to help unleash such collaboration here in the UK, as a first national implementation initiative of our global New Plastics Economy initiative.”

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