UK Plastics Pact offers step in the right direction

Among the most significant issues to emerge this past week has been that of the UK Plastics Pact, which has outlined an ambitious set of proposals to drastically reduce packaging waste.

Clearly, this is a matter that both the confectionery and bakery sectors have a vested interest in addressing, with corporate social responsibility being given an ever-higher priority.

While levels of recycling in the EU are generally relatively high compared to less-developed areas of the world, there is still some significant work to be done if this latest initiative is to be successful.

UK government figures have placed present rates of recycling of packaging – including for confectionery and bakery, at around 71%, with the Plastics Pact aiming to see that figure rise to 100% by 2025.

It was encouraging to hear that over 40 leading businesses operating in Britain, including Nestlé, have already signed up to this drive, but unless it is placed into full government legislation, it’s hard to see quite how this could be realistically enforced.

However, as a policy proposal, it should be welcomed, and indeed already has by a number of companies operating in our sector. This includes the likes of Plamil Foods in Kent, which produces a series of free-from chocolates that has insisted on reducing its packaging wherever possible in light of concerns over its environmental impact.

From seeing a broad range of trade shows over the years, it has been encouraging to see significant developments within the packaging sector that have seen a gradual move away from plastics being used in confectionery. However, they remain a staple of many retail offerings, but the emergence of initiatives such as the UK Plastics Pact have helped place a spotlight on an issue that is of upmost importance.

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