Firms back plan to recycle plastics

9th February 2017

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Waste ,
  • Natural resources



Business leaders have endorsed a plan to recycle 70% of plastic packaging worldwide, up from 14% now.

More than 40 firms, including The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Mars and Unilever, have backed a plan to tackle global plastics waste set out in a joint report from the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

New Plastics Economy: catalysing action includes a strategy for the global plastics industry to design better packaging, increase recycling rates and introduce new models for making better use of packaging.

The report found that 20% of plastic packaging could be profitably reused, for example by replacing single-use plastic bags with reusable ones, or by designing innovative packaging based on product refills.

A further 50% could be profitably recycled if improvements were made to packaging design and systems for managing it after use. The remaining 30% would never be recycled, however, and would continue to go to landfill or incineration without fundamental redesign and innovation.

Adrian Griffiths, chief executive at Recycling Technologies, which is also backing the initiative, said: ‘The issue of waste plastic is clearly a growing concern within the industry and the wider public. This report outlines a clear strategy for the industry to provide better recycling rates by turning waste plastic into a resource that can be reused.’

Paul Polman, chief executive at Unilever, welcomed the report for setting out specific actions to capture opportunities for redesign and innovation, reuse and recycling.

‘We urgently need to transform global plastic packaging material flows if we are to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material,’ he said.

Transform articles

Water companies fail to hit environmental targets

None of England’s water and sewerage companies achieved all environmental expectations for the period 2015 to 2020, the Environment Agency has revealed. These targets included the reduction of total pollution incidents by at least one-third compared with 2012, and for incident self-reporting to be at least 75%.

30th July 2021

Read more

The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.

30th July 2021

Read more

Billions of people worldwide have been unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a progress report from the World Health Organisation focusing on the UN’s sixth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) – to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030”.

30th July 2021

Read more

The oil and gas industry is set to burn through its allocated carbon budget 13 years early unless decisive action is taken immediately, new analysis has found.

22nd July 2021

Read more

The UK will no longer use unabated coal to generate electricity from October 2024, one year earlier than originally planned, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced.

2nd July 2021

Read more

The UK government is not on track to deliver on its promise to improve the environment within a generation and is failing to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, a damning new report from MPs has revealed.

1st July 2021

Read more

Renewable energy will account for nearly 40% of the world's power mix by the end of this decade, overtaking coal within the next few years, according to research by GlobalData.

24th June 2021

Read more

The UK's solar energy capacity must treble over the next decade for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but is only set to double under a business-as-usual scenario.

18th June 2021

Read more

The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) has today been launched to support financial institutions and corporates in assessing and managing emerging risks and opportunities as the world looks to reverse biodiversity loss.

4th June 2021

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert