Retailers and brands join forces to cut plastic by 2025

Tesco employee

Dozens of retailers, brands and organisations including major supermarkets have signed up to the UK Plastics Pact, a new voluntary agreement to reduce plastic.

Tesco, Pret, Lidl, Nestle, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Unilever, Pizza Hut, the Welsh and Scottish Governments, Sainsbury's, Ecover, Birds Eye, Aldi and more have added their names to the 42-strong list of participants.

With a target date of 2025, the UK Plastics Pact intends to make 100 per cent of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable, 70 per cent effectively recycled or composted, and all plastic packaging should have an average recycled content of 30 per cent.

Wrap UK Plastics Pact launch 2

Wrap, the organisation implementing the pact, highlights specific aspects of the UK's current plastics system that need to change, for instance consumer confusion over what can and cannot be recycled, inconsistencies between different areas' kerbside recycled collection rules, and types of plastic that are impossible or difficult to recycle such as black food trays.

The launch of the UK Plastics Pact has been largely welcomed, but it has been noted that it is voluntary and participating companies are under no legal obligation to meet the targets.

Other critics say it doesn't go far enough. Iceland has not signed up to the initiative, focusing instead on its more significant pledge to totally eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own-brand products over the next five years.

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