The Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan (PIRAP) was launched today by Plastics 2020 (namely BPF, PAFA and Plastics Europe) and WRAP.The plan provides a co-operative strategy for the plastic packaging supply chain to take action and contribute towards achieving the UK government’s target for obligated users – of 57% plastic packaging recycling by 2017, by developing a resilient and sustainable plastics recycling sector in the UK. 

PIRAP highlights a number of areas where improvements could be made to develop end markets for plastics recyclate, enhance collection rates, adopt best-in-class collection methods, optimise sorting infrastructure and design.

Philip Law, BPF’s Director General said: “Recycling is the absolutely essential component of the ‘sustainability story’. It’s a great achievement to secure an agreed document in an area which has become a political football. Plastics packaging recycling levels are a function of so many factors and the support of a very large number of organisations has to be harnessed to make significant progress.”

Kim Christiansen, Regional Director North PlasticsEurope added: “The proposed UK 2017 plastics recycling targets represent a great challenge to industry in taking it from a mid-performing to one of the top performing member states in Europe. To help rise to this challenge PlasticsEurope and its 2020C partners welcome the support of WRAP and Defra in helping us work with the value chain in order to drive the UK towards this goal”

Barry Turner, PAFA’s Chief Executive also added: “Despite the ink on the final document being barely dry I am pleased to see that so many stakeholders have come forward this looks promising for the next steps which need to focus on actions to support the achievement of these challenging targets”.

PIRAP was initiated by WRAP through consultation with all stakeholders, including national and local government, the waste management industry, obligated users, producers, converters and recyclers. Plastics 2020 then adopted the task of engaging with the different stakeholders to agree on different actions for commitment.

Claire Shrewsbury, Packaging Programme Manager, WRAP said “It’s fantastic to see the Plastics Recycling Industry Action Plan launch with a wide range of supporters already signed up. To realise the full benefits of plastics recycling, and achieve the targets, the whole supply chain must work together to achieve a common outcome.  The plan will drive this kind of collaboration and strengthen links across the entire plastics supply chain, ensuring more valuable plastic is recycled into second life applications.”

Despite the document only being finalised a matter of weeks ago and after a process of extensive consultation the following supporters have come forward and we expect many more to follow.

Anthesis Group
•    British Polythene Industries PLC
•    British Retail Consortium
•    Centriforce Products Ltd
•    Chase Plastics
•    Coca Cola Enterprises
•    Dart (Solo Cup)
•    EcoPlastics Recycling
•    Environmental Services Association
•    Faerch Plast
•    Food and Drinks Federation
•    Foodservice Packaging Association
•    Jayplas
•    JFC
•    Kent Rsource Partnership
•    mtm Plastics
•    Nextek
•    Recoup
•    RPC Group
•    Shanks Waste Management
•    Veolia

Plastics 2020 will be engaging directly with the main trade bodies representing stakeholders, and other relevant stakeholders, in order to establish a number of joint actions that can be taken to ensure the year on year growth in recycled plastics. This will cover all aspects of the packaging’s end of life cycle including collection, household participation, sorting, reprocessing, support for innovation, etc.

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