Plastic and litter washed up on a beach

Plastic packaging

A circular economy for plastics

Transforming the plastic packaging value chain

The linear system of take, make, dispose is failing us. Urgent action is required to tackle the scourge of plastic waste. Taking action will improve our natural environment and conserve our precious natural resources and help build a prosperous and resilient future for our people and planet. 

 

Why we need to take action

Plastic packaging placed on the market in the UK totals 2.4Mt Find out more

Plastic packaging in the UK accounts for nearly 70% of our plastic waste, making packaging the primary focus of The UK Plastics Pact Find out more 

Flexible plastics in the UK account for 25% of consumer packaging, yet we only recycle 6% Find out more

Action on plastic waste

The UK Plastics Pact

Plastic packaging plays an important role in protecting goods as they move through the economy and importantly in reducing food waste and its climate impact. However, the current plastics system is failing. Our throwaway culture has led to increasing levels of plastic waste in our natural environment.

 

Find out how The UK Plastics Pact is taking urgent action

International work on plastics 

We launched the world’s first Plastics Pact with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the UK in 2018. This world-leading initiative has been the trailblazer for a network of global Pacts all working towards a circular economy for plastics.

We’re working with partners on Plastics Pacts around the world. We’re focusing our international efforts on developing partnerships to deliver change in those countries where the need is greatest, including in South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Global systemic change

Our key reports, guidance and research for plastic packaging

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Citizen behaviour change campaigns

We all have a role to play as individuals but also as businesses to ensure that plastic doesn't end up in the natural environment. Whether that's improving your own recycling behaviours or promoting positive recycling behaviours to help your customers recycle more effectively more often. 

Our citizen behaviour change campaigns provide a wealth of resources and campaign assets that make this behaviour change possible.   

Recycle Now

Use our world leading citizen behaviour change campaigns and research to develop and promote normative recycling messages through your marketing channels. Recycle Now adds credibility, recognition, and value to your consumer messaging on recycling.

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Clear on Plastics

WRAP's Clear on Plastics campaign exists to cut through the confusion and give citizens clear, evidence-based information on plastics and sustainability, allowing them to make their own informed choices. Use our free campaign resources to inform your own messaging to customers about your journey on plastics and sustainability.

Find out more

Working with governments and business

In the UK, the EU, and further afield, governments are consulting on policies that could transform the landscape for the way we manage resources and waste in the future. 

The UK government's recent Resources and Waste Strategy offers some bold and radical solutions. These include Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging, Deposit Return Schemes (DRS) and consistent municipal recycling collections (set to be introduced from 2023), and a tax on plastics packaging with low levels of recycled content (scheduled for April 2022). 
Discover more about our policy work

Explore our plastics & packaging research, tools & guidance

See all of our key reports on plastic packaging here. View a small selection below. 

Other dry recyclables

Alongside plastics, our knowledge base provides information on the design, collection and reprocessing of different types of dry recyclables.

WRAP offers a number of reports, guides and independent studies focusing on recycling and reprocessing techniques for particular materials including: textiles, metals, plastics, glass, paper, wood, and bulky items.
Discover more about other dry recyclables