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UK signs global commitment to eliminate plastic pollution

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UK government signs global commitment to eliminate plastic pollution

An image of several empty plastic bottles.The Daily Mail, The Independent, and Business Green report 250 organisations including the UK government and many of the world’s largest packaging producers, retailers, recyclers and NGOs have today signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eradicate plastic waste and pollution.

Signatories include Danone, H&M, L’Oréal, Mars, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company, Burberry plc, and Unilever.

Signing the Commitment, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

I am proud that today we have signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world. It is a global problem requiring a global solution.

That’s why the UK Government has brought together the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance and Global Plastics Action Partnership. It’s also why I want to congratulate the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on their excellent work to help galvanise action.

Only by unifying countries and businesses all over the world we will be able to safeguard our land, rivers and seas for future generations.

Targets include:

  • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and move from single-use to reuse packaging models;
  • Innovate to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be easily and safely reused, recycled, or composted by 2025; and,
  • Circulate the plastic produced, by significantly increasing the amounts of plastics reused or recycled and made into new packaging or products.

The UK is making great strides to tackle the plastic that blights our streets, rivers and oceans – protecting wildlife from ingesting harmful plastic with our world-leading ban on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products, and introducing a highly successful plastic bag charge which has seen 13 billion plastic bags taken out of circulation in the last two years alone. The government has also announced plans to extend the plastic bag charge to all retailers, last week launched a consultation on banning the sale of straws, plastic-stemmed cotton buds and stirrers, and will consult on introducing a deposit return scheme for single use drink containers later this year.

We will be announcing further measures to tackle plastic waste as part of our upcoming Resources and Waste Strategy which will be published later this year.

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