UK supermarkets cut plastic packaging by 10%
UK Plastics Pact members have reduced problematic single-use plastic items by 46% and cut the amount of packaging on supermarket shelves by 10% in 2018-20, according to WRAP.
The British NGO leads UK Plastic Pact, an initiative which brings together businesses from across the plastics value chain, the government, and independent organisations to tackle plastic waste.
Since the scheme began in 2018, the reduction of plastic in UK supermarkets has led to a 335,000t drop in CO2, which WRAP said is equivalent to taking 150,000 cars off the road.
The organisation added that innovations in recycling plastic bags and wrapping through increased front of store collections are starting to deliver an opportunity to scale up the collection and recycling of plastics.
WRAP highlighted a number of current actions from supermarkets and other retailers to reduce plastics, including Morrisons, which has announced the removal of plastic bags from bananas. It said that once rolled out, this will reduce plastic by 180 tonnes, or 45 million bags every year.
“The results of real-life reuse and refill trials carried out under the Pact are extremely exciting for how we could shop packaging-free in the future,” said Marcus Gover, WRAP chief executive.
“We see a 50 per cent growth in plastics reprocessing in the UK, which is a massive improvement and Recycle Week marked a record high in terms of the numbers of people recycling – helping complete the cycle of plastics to keep them in the economy and out of the environment.
“But as COP26 made clear, we have a long way to go and little time to make big changes.”
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