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Major companies collaborate to reduce plastic pollution in the UK

The UK Plastics Pact has officially been launched in an effort to transform the plastics system and reduce unnecessary waste. More than 40 businesses, governments, and organizations have joined the initiative, agreeing to change the way they design, produce, use, and dispose of plastic pollution.

The growing list of businesses participating in the project include Aldi, Coca Cola, P&G, Pizza Hut, and Pepsico. The BBC is reporting that the companies who have aligned with the pact are responsible for over 80 percent of the plastic packaging on products sold in supermarkets across the UK.

Critics of the project say that these companies need to make changes that are enforced by government action, and not just on a voluntary basis.

The organizations that signed the pact have promised to make huge strides by the year 2025.

The pledges that must be honored by the target date include: 100 percent of all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable; 70 percent of all plastic packaging will be effectively recycled or composted; all plastic packaging will contain an average of 30 percent recycled content; and unnecessary or problematic single-use packaging will be eliminated.

The UK Plastics Pact website states:

“Our throwaway culture needs to change. We need to move away from a linear plastics economy, where we take, make and dispose of plastic, towards a circular system where we capture the value of plastics material – keeping plastic in the economy and out of the oceans.” 

The website cautions that around 5,000 pieces of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK.

The initiative was launched by The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a nonprofit group that strives toward a sustainable, resource-efficient economy.

“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,” said Ellen MacArthur. “Achieving it will require close collaboration and significant commitment from industry, government, and society at large.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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