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Plastics and Packaging – beyond 2025

Why do we need a successor agreement to The UK Plastics Pact? 

The UK Plastics Pact, nine other Plastics Pacts that are part of the Global Plastics Pact network and The Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will conclude in 2025. 

In the UK, we are on track to reach two out of the four targets by 2025. However, the remaining two targets are dependant on the introduction of key policy mechanisms such as Simpler Recycling and EPR which will drive up collections and support investment in recycling. The benefits of which will not be seen until after 2025.  

So why do we need a new agreement?: 

  1. To continue to address market failures in plastics circularity. The introduction of policy alone will not fix the problem. 
  2. Whilst the UN Global Plastics Treaty will set the global course, it is widely accepted that public/private partnerships like the Plastics Pact model will play a major part in  delivery of the Treaty mandate by complementing and accelerating impact.  
  3. To pave the way for future legislation in ways that can be replicated and scaled internationally.
The UK Plastics Pact: Progress in the UK

A successor agreement: Help shape the future. 

Working with a temporary steering group made up of close to 50 businesses we have progressed a target framework for a successor agreement to The UK Plastics Pact which runs until the end of 2025.  

It is expected that a successor agreement will:         

  • Ensure the policy environment drives material circularity and investment.  
  • Prepare and support industry in the delivery of future legislative obligations. 
  • Provide practical delivery frameworks to support industry in meeting aligned global/national commitments and ambitions. 
  • Support a just transition, that is, to green the economy being fair and inclusive.
  • Foster a pre-competitive space for public/private sector collaboration to overcome challenges that no one business / entity can overcome alone.  

Scope of a new agreement. 

It is proposed that the scope of the new agreement covers all packaging materials and focuses on specific market failures that need to be addressed. This will: 

  • provide greater transparency and the ability to influence the UK’s packaging footprint;
  • mitigate unintended consequences caused by material switching; and
  • enable more holistic decision making.

Plastic packaging will continue to be a key focus area, aligning with the direction of travel for the UN Treaty to End Plastic Pollution and international Plastics Pact network.

Our ambition:  

Delivery of the agreement targets will contribute towards net zero and industry commitments to halve GHG impacts by 2030.

Next steps: Complete the survey   

WRAP is now seeking input from wider industry on the proposed target framework through an online survey survey which will run from 12 January to 23 February 2024.

Complete the survey

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