Our third Annual Report provides the most complete picture of action on tackling plastic packaging waste in the UK. It combines aggregated Pact member data from right across the supply chain, with examples of members progress against the targets. This enables us pinpoint where specific action is needed.

So, three years in, what does the picture look like?


The headline data for 2020

UK Plastics Pact members account for two thirds of all consumer packaging used in the UK. They are demonstrating significant collective and individual progress against each of the targets, but we still have a long way to go.

  • Bananas without packaging

    46% reduction in problematic and unnecessary plastic items since 2018

  • Radox bottle with front of pack recycling messaging

    52% of plastic packaging is recycled, up from 44% 2018

  • Reuse and refill station in Asda supermarket

    70% of plastic packaging is reusable or recyclable

  • New Ribena bottle with no plastic sleeve

    Average recycled content is 18% doubling from 9% in 2018

Tackling the issue of plastic waste helps combat climate change

Circular Economy

Reducing plastic packaging prevents carbon emissions.

Since 2018 we have seen a 10% reduction in consumer plastic packaging. That’s a 335kt CO2e reduction, equivalent to taking 150,000 cars off the road.

Using recycled plastic to make new products and packaging saves energy.

It takes 75% less energy to make a plastic bottle from recycled plastic compared with using ‘virgin’ materials.

More recycled content used in plastic packaging places less strain on the earths natural resources as well as preventing carbon emissions.  

The average level of recycled content in Pact members plastic packaging is 18%. This equates to saving just over a million barrels of virgin oil production and 140,000 tonnes of CO2e.
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Recycling your customers' plastic bags and wrapping

Recycling more plastic bags and wrapping

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  • The UK Plastics Pact Annual Report 2020-21.pdf

    PDF, 4.47 MB