Industry leaders back global plan for plastic packaging recycling

More than 40 industry leaders have endorsed a new global action plan that aims to see 70 per cent of the world’s plastic packaging reused and recycled.

The plan has been laid out in a new report Plastics Economy: Catalysing Action, which is published by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation who last year calculated that there could be more plastics than fish in the ocean by 2050.

The action plan was produced as part of the New Plastics Economy initiative, which brings together more than 40 leading organisations representing the entire global plastics industry, from chemical manufacturers to consumer goods producers, retailers, city authorities and recyclers, to work together towards a more effective global system.

The initiative has outlined the concerted action by industry that could result in the reuse and recycling of 70 per cent of all global plastic packaging, up from today's recycling rate of just 14 per cent. The report suggests that 20 per cent of plastic packaging could be profitably re-used, with changes such as replacing single-use plastic bags with re-usable alternatives, or by designing packaging models based on product refills. A further 50 per cent of plastic packaging, it says, could be profitably recycled if improvements are made to packaging design and systems for managing it after use.

The New Plastics Economy will now launch two global innovation challenges to kick-start the redesign of materials and packaging formats, and begin building a set of global common standards for packaging design.

Dame Ellen MacArthur, Founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said of the initiaitive: "The New Plastics Economy initiative has attracted widespread support, and across the industry we are seeing strong initial momentum and alignment on the direction to take. The New Plastics Economy: Catalysing action provides a clear plan for redesigning the global plastics system, paving the way for concerted action."

Dominic Waughray, Head of Public-Private Partnership, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum added: "This could drive systemic change. The plan puts innovation at the heart of a strategy that could shift the entire system while unlocking a billion dollar business opportunity. Alignment along value chains and between the public and private sector is key to this."

Packaging compliance

We work with companies that handle packaging, helping them to reduce their impact on the environment and ensuring they comply with current UK regulations. If your business is obligated under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, our approved packaging compliance scheme can handle your producer responsibility obligations on your behalf, giving you peace of mind and saving you time and money.

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