Licensed trade backs new Plastics Pact to cut packaging waste

Plastics Pact

The trade body representing the bar, pub and club sector has backed moves to tackle single-use plastic and other packaging waste by signing the new UK Plastics Pact.

UKHospitality has pledged to spearhead the hospitality sector’s efforts to take action, including an event, Unpack the Future of Hospitality, in association with the BII. It builds on commitments by leading bar operators to phase out single-use plastic straws and other plastic products.

The association, formed by a merger of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and the British Hospitality Association, is among 16 organisations to sign the Plastics Pact alongside 42 businesses responsible for over 80% of plastic packaging sold on products through UK supermarkets.

Launched by sustainability experts WRAP, the Plastics Pact is a set of targets to be achieved by 2025, including eliminating problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models.

They aim that, by 2025, 100% of plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable, 70% of plastic packaging will be effectively recycled or composted and there will be 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The problems caused by packaging waste is becoming increasingly salient and there is a consensus that we must, collectively, do more.

“Our commitment to the Plastics Pact highlights our ambition to spearhead the hospitality sector’s efforts to address packaging waste and ensure the sector plays a valuable role in helping develop sustainable and green practices and alternatives to disposable packaging.”

Unpack the Future of Hospitality on May 10 in London will bring together business leaders and sustainability experts from across the eating and drinking out sector, to discuss the challenges packaging poses for our industry, share best practice and pledge to do more. Click here to find out more.

Kate added: “Our event will bring together the entire sector to address the problem head-on and investigate the potential of a vibrant and dynamic industry to reduce packaging waste voluntarily.

“I am encouraging the entire sector to throw its weight behind the campaign, not only to address the issue of waste, but also to help underline the hospitality sector’s potential to make significant progress without the need for Government intervention.”

Soft drinks group Britvic, which produces brands such as J2O and supplies Pepsi and 7Up in Britain, was also among signatories to the Plastics Pact as part of its sustainability programme.

Its chief marketing officer Matt Barwell said: “This is an extremely important issue and we take our responsibility to help protect the environment incredibly seriously. By signing up to this pact, we are committing to work collaboratively with our industry peers, government and the waste management sector to make meaningful and essential changes now.

“Already, all our PET plastic bottles are fully recyclable in the UK recycling system and carry the on-pack recycling label to encourage our consumers to recycle. In 2017 we removed 308 tonnes of primary plastic bottle packaging from our supply chain by moving products onto our new bottling lines and accessing lighter weight bottles.

“Looking to the future of packaging, we are currently trialling the use of recycled plastic (rPET) in our bottles to help us achieve our aim of significantly increasing the amount of rPET we use. At the same time, we continue to invest in R&D to investigate the use of alternative sustainable materials to package our products.”

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