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Plastics Pact Welcomed

Zero Waste Scotland has welcomed WRAP’s UK Plastics Pact as a clear statement of intent on challenging the prevalence of single-use plastics.

The Pact, launched today (Thursday 26th April) with the support of Dame Ellen McArthur, aims to “transform the plastic packaging system in the UK” and keep plastic in the economy and out of the ocean.

Signatories, who include businesses like Coca Cola, Aldi, Unilever and M&S, as well as organisations such as The British Plastics Federation, have committed to an ambitious set of targets for 2025, to:

  • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models.
  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

As part of our Zero Waste Scotland’s work with the Scottish Government, who are a signatory, we are already working hard on the issues around single-use plastics and considering how the pact can support Scotland’s wider ambitions for reducing single-use items and accelerating a more circular economy.

Our Chief Executive Iain Gulland said, “We welcome the strong commitment shown by these leading businesses and representative bodies to tackle the issues associated with  single-use plastics.

“Scotland is already leading the way with action on cotton buds, straws, microbeads and plastic packaging, including being the first part of the UK to commit to a deposit return scheme, which we are currently designing for the Scottish Government.

“We look forward to working with those signed up to the Plastic Pact to achieve our ambitions for cleaner seas, streets and countryside and for a more circular economy.”

The Scottish Government is also on board as a Pact signatory. Commenting on the agreement, Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham said that, “I believe that we all need to take action to address the scourge of plastic littering our countryside and seas. Businesses have an important role to play and I am pleased to see so many engaging with the Plastics Pact and its vision of a world where plastic never becomes waste.

“The Scottish Government has already introduced the household recycling charter to simplify recycling, committed to introducing a deposit return scheme and will shortly be consulting on proposals to ban the manufacture and sale of plastic-stemmed cotton buds in Scotland. Today we further build on that action as Pact signatories by looking to review the use of plastics across the public sector in Scotland.”

Scotland is leading the way in the fight against single-use plastics, with the first commitment in the UK to introduce a deposit return system for drinks containers, and action to tackle plastic stemmed cotton buds and microbeads.

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