Recycling, Sustainability, Circular Economy, Design for Recycling, Alternative material, Engagement

UK Plastics Pact signed

27/04/2018 | 4 min read
Konrad Wasserbauer

The objective of the UK Plastics Pact, which was presented yesterday in London, is to keep plastic away from nature, and to keep it in the economy as long as possible. Great Britain is taking the global lead with the unique initiative of turning the plastic economy into a circular economy, while at the same time actively counteracting environmental pollution from plastic waste. With its branch in Dungannon, UK, Greiner Packaging has signed the pact – one of the first companies to do so, and only one of two packaging companies worldwide to join.

Kremsmünster, April 2018. Since 2016, Greiner Packaging has been a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. As part of the “New Plastics Economy,” it has been devoting itself to the entire value-added chain of packaging – from raw material through manufacture and retail sale, all the way to collection and processing. The objective of the initiative is to close the packaging loop and develop systems through which the packaging does not lose value and can either be recycled, composted, or reused. The UK Plastics Pact, led by not-for-profit organization WRAP, is the first of a global network of such pacts, enabled by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative. 

We are proud to be one of the first companies to be part of the UK Plastics Pact. By joining, we want to show that sustainability is an important issue for us and we take it seriously and take it into account in the entire value-added chain.

Philip Woolsey, CEO of Greiner Packaging UK

Reducing single-use plastics and developing new cycle systems

The objective is to keep plastics away from nature and to put the entire packaging system on a new footing. By signing the pact, Greiner Packaging UK is making a commitment to contribute to that goal. Reducing problematic and unnecessary single-use plastics plays an important role in this. A total of 42 companies, among them big food, beverage, and non-food brands, but also manufacturers, retailers, plastics processors, and packaging suppliers, have signed the pact.

The initiative stipulates achieving ambitious targets by 2025:

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

Benefits for the environment, opportunities for the economy

The UK Plastics Pact is unique in its own way, and further global initiatives are expected to follow as part of the New Plastics Economy Initiative of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “We are delighted to launch this pioneering national implementation initiative with WRAP in the UK. This bold new pact will bring together businesses, policymakers and the public to create a circular economy for plastics that tackles the causes of plastics waste and pollution, not just the symptoms. Focussing on innovation, better packaging design and end-of-use systems will not only generate long-term benefits for the environment, but is also a huge economic opportunity. We encourage others around the world to help drive this momentum towards finding global solutions to what is a global problem,” says Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.  

Added value on all levels

“Global solutions are needed in the plastics sector. We are aware that there are still many obstacles along the way to achieving less plastic waste. Together with our partners, we will therefore be thinking about how we can increase the proportion of recycled material in new packaging and how we can develop reusable packaging. It is important for us to be able to offer added value to our customers with our packaging, while at the same time protecting mankind and the environment in the best possible way,” says Philip Woolsey, elaborating on the strategy of Greiner Packaging.

For more information on the entire initiative, go to

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