Daily Management Review

Under ‘Plastic Pact’, Companies Responsible For 80% Plastic Waste Of Britain Pledge To Curb Plastic Use


Damaging environmental effect of plastic waste coerces the food and beverage industry of Britain to take joint steps to set things right.

Under the growing pressure to curb pollutions, over forty companies in the U.K. have committed to reduce “plastic use” in the coming seven years’ time. The company coalition includes of “Britain’s biggest supermarkets, Coca Cola (KO.N), Nestle (NESN.S) and Procter & Gamble (PG.N)”, reported Reuters.
In order to fulfil the promised target of 2025, the companies will have to purge out their “unnecessary single-use plastic packaging” throughout the U.K. The said pledge, called the “UK Plastics Pact”, was launched by WRAP, a “sustainability campaign group” in the last week of April 2018.
By signing on the pact, the companies have made a pledge that by the end of decided period the plastic packaging used by these companies will be 100% “reusable, recyclable or compostable”. Further aim is also to effectively compost of recycle 70% of the packaging plastic, while “all plastic packaging will have 30 percent average recycled content”.
The pressure of taking action on “plastic waste” is left by the manufacturers as well as retailers in the food and drink sector, the public concern continuous to grow while the lawmakers equally are alarmed by the “damaging impact” of plastic on the environment. Under a “national plan of action”, the Prime Minister of Britain vowed to end the use of “avoidable plastic” in the country by the year of 2042.
As a result, the government under Prime Minster May is in the process of assessing “a range of options” like “banning some products and using the tax system to change consumers’ behaviour”. The forty companies bound by the “Plastic Pact” make up 80% of the plastic packaging of the products sold in supermarkets throughout the United Kingdom. Here are some of the names of the market leaders in the U.K. who have signed on the Plastic Pact, as mentioned by Reuters:
“Market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), Walmart’s (WMT.N) Asda, Morrisons (MRW.L), Marks & Spencer (MKS.L), discounters Aldi and Lidl have all signed up. Other signatories include the UK government and trade associations”.
While, the Chief Executive Officer of WRAP, Marcus Gover said:
“Together, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink and reshape the future of plastic so that we retain its value, and curtail the damage plastic waste wreaks on our planet”.
In January 2018, Iceland, a private supermarket of Britain, promised first to do away with “plastic packaging” in its “own brand products” and urged the industry join in this endeavour. In fact, Morrisons, the “fourth largest grocer” of Britain, has agreed to “reduce and remove” unnecessary use of plastic in its packaging.
Reports say that by 2019’s end, “black plastic trays” used in “fresh meat and fish” industry are likely to disappear although customers will be able to “use their own containers” for purchasing from “butcher and fishmonger counters”. Furthermore, Reuters added:
“Other measures include trialling the effect of removing plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables, with an aim to examine how plastic packaging, which helps keep food fresh, can be reduced without increasing food waste”.
Various steps have been taken by different food retailers and garnered appreciations from environmentalists, although the latter believe that the actions taken so far aren’t adequate enough.