12 July 2022
Helen Bird, Head of Business Collaboration WRAP
"The impressive take-up of the Big Plastic Count shows that tackling plastic pollution remains high on the public agenda. The findings mirror what at WRAP we already know: there are times when there is still too much unnecessary plastic packaging on food, and especially on fruit and vegetables. This is a major obstacle to cracking the plastics crisis and is a priority for The UK Plastics Pact.
“We have identified where plastic packaging can be removed, including from fruit and vegetables, where there is also an opportunity to save food waste by enabling people to buy what they need. We need the retailers to act on this quickly and are working with them towards this, as well as on reuse and refill schemes which need to be made more accessible and attractive to shoppers, while being commercially scalable. Until these things become mainstream for shoppers, we still need to continue to recycle everything we can. It is encouraging that the UK now recycles more of its plastic packaging here than abroad, and over time we need to get this to 100%.
“Householders play a critical role in the chain, through purchasing choices (where available and equitable) and by recycling as much as they can. Until we have consistency in recycling collections it is not easy, but many people are now taking plastic bags and wrappers to supermarket collection points. This is not the moment to lose faith. With everyone pulling together we can reset our relationship with plastic, so it continues to serve a useful purpose where it is necessary, without harming the planet."