Introduced by WRAP in 2018, The Plastic Pact is a first of its kind voluntary agreement that brings together businesses across the value chain, non-profit organisations, and government to tackle the vast amounts of problematic plastic being placed onto the UK market.
The Plastic Pact aims to create a circular economy for plastics by recycling and sustaining their value to prevent them coming out of the economy and into the natural environment. Members of the pact put an end to the use of harmful and hard to recycle plastics and reduce the overall amount of packaging on their products. The agreement intends to stimulate innovation and help to build a more efficient recycling system in the UK.
Organisations and businesses who are members of the pact, from the outset, design their plastic packaging with recycling in mind, using easy to recycle materials so that it can be made into new products and packaging. With the support of government, The Plastic Pact will ensure UK recycling targets are consistently met.
Since the pact was introduced, considerable headway has been made in packaging reduction in the UK. Since 2018 there has been a 46% reduction in problematic or unnecessary plastic items and an 80% decrease in the use of PVC packaging- the greatest reduction in plastic packaging yet.
As well as reducing the use of problematic plastics, commitments under The Plastic Pact also include creating hard hitting campaigns to encourage citizen behavioural change around recycling. “Recycle Now”, the UK recycling campaign, uses consumer research on the insights of recycling behaviours to run direct-to-consumer campaigns and provide tools to develop positive behavioural change to enable citizens to recycle accurately and effectively.
To be able to meet recycling targets, they need to be set, therefore data reporting from members of the pact is pivotal to the success of The Plastic Pact. For members, an essential part of their commitment is data reporting. It is crucial that data collection is accurate, detailed and meets the needs of the data submission requirements. Unlike other packaging data reporting, The Plastic Pact data requirements ask for in depth information on components, polymer types and recyclability.