Galvanising the entire plastics value chain around a common roadmap for flexible plastic packaging. 

Urgent issue 

  • Flexible plastic packaging represents a nearly a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging.
  • But only 7% is currently recycled. 
  • Urgent action is required to address the complex challenges that underpin this.
  • We must act now or risk missing UK Plastics Pact targets.

Flexible plastic packaging is generally a resource efficient material; it’s lightweight and can play an important role in protecting food from becoming waste however the system for recycling this material in the UK is fragmented.

A coordinated effort involving the entire value chain is required to fix the system to create a circular economy for flexible plastic packaging. We must focus our efforts in: 

  • Designing packaging that can be recycled and sorted.
  • In the short term, capitalising on the front of store collection points provided by many supermarkets.
  • In the long term, implementing collection at kerbside in all local authority areas.
  • Investing in sorting and reprocessing capacity and capabilities.
  • Ensuring recycled flexible plastic packaging has strong and stable end markets.

The roadmap sets out the high level actions that need to be taken by each part of the value chain and a strategy, that aligns with the European programme Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX), has been developed that spans these areas. 

This work is crucial in working towards The UK Plastics Pact's vision of 'a world where plastic is valued and doesn't pollute the environment'. And it is critical if we are to achieve the following targets under the Pact: 

  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; and
  • 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted by 2025.

Adam Grant, General Manager, MARS WRIGLEY

“At Mars, we’re taking action to minimise the plastic we use across our full supply chain and improving the recyclability of packaging used on our iconic products. Through investments and innovation, we’re working towards a world where packaging material never becomes waste, but is reused, recycled or composted - but we know we can’t achieve this alone. This Roadmap is essential in galvanising cross industry action, driving us towards a circular economy, and helping us create the world we want tomorrow..” 

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  • Film and flexible roadmap - July 2024.pdf

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