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Who are the big players pledging on plastic?

Eleven leading brands, retailers and packaging companies have announced they are working together to reach 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier.

Eleven leading brands, retailers and packaging companies have announced they are working together to reach 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025 or earlier.

The joint announcement was unveiled at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an NGO which is leading efforts to build a more circular economy through its New Plastics Economy initiative. 

The eleven companies include:

Amcor: All packaging will be recyclable or reusable by 2025

Danone: The company’s water brand Evian will make all of its plastic bottles from 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2025

Ecover: All packaging is already reusable, recyclable or compostable, and the company now plans to use only 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles by 2020, introduce recycled content into its caps from 2018 and trial biodegradable non-plastic alternatives by 2020

L’Oreal: All packaging will be rechargeable, refillable, recyclable or compostable by 2025

Mars: All packaging will be 100 per cent recyclable by 2025

M&S: All plastic packaging will be 100 per recyclable and ‘widely recycled’ in the UK by 2022, and assess the feasibility for all plastic packaging to be made from just one polymer group by 2025 to reduce consumer confusion

Pepsico: All packaging will be 100 per cent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025

The Coca-Cola Company: 100 per cent of packaging will be collected and recycled by 2030, supported by goals to make packaging 100 per cent recyclable by 2025 and with 50 per cent recycled content by 2030

Unilever: All packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, including recycled plastic content of at least 25 per cent

Walmart: All private brand packaging will be 100 per cent recyclable by 2025

Werner & Mertz: All packaging is already 100 per cent recyclable, and the company now plans to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2025.

Together, the companies produce more than six million tonnes of plastic packaging per year.

Elsewhere, Ryanair has pledged to remove non-recyclable plastics in all of its operations, including flights and office buildings, by 2023. 

The Co-op has also revealed that it has removed all plastic from its own-brand teabags ahead of its own target to make 80 per cent all of its packaging recyclable by 2020, while fellow supermarket chain Iceland has pledged to eliminate plastic packaging for all own-brand products by 2023. Other supermarkets are following suit.

UK action

In January, the UK government unveiled plans to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as part of its long-term 25 Year Environment Plan.

In the near-term, the UK is facing a plastic waste crisis due to a Chinese ban on waste imports.