WRAP publishes new roadmap for flexible plastic packaging

14th July 2020 | Recycling

A new roadmap for creating a circular economy for soft flexible packaging has been released by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). While the UK recycles a total of 46.2 per cent of its plastic packaging according to the latest UK waste figures, just four pre cent of soft flexible plastic packaging is currently recycled, with few local authorities collecting it and its composition of lots of different types of plastic making it hard to recycle.

WRAP’s new roadmap comes under the banner of the UK Plastics Pact, which aims for a plastic packaging recycling rate of 70 per cent and for all plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The UK Plastics Pact, previously published a list of plastic items to be eliminated by 2025, which included plastic bags and other forms of flexible plastic packaging.

Plastic packaging

Among the solutions proposed to increase the recycling rate for soft flexible plastic packaging are: designing packaging that can be recycled and sorted: investing in sorting and reprocessing facilities: and ensuring that recycled flexible packaging has strong markets. In the short term, the roadmap emphasises capitalising on the store collection points provided by supermarkets. In the long term, kerbside collections of flexible packaging must be implemented in all local authority areas.

Peter Maddox, Director of WRAP UK, said, “Developing a recycling system for flexible plastics is undoubtedly the biggest challenge that we and our UK Plastics Pact members face in order to meet the Pack’s targets by 2025. Citizens are frustrated by flexible plastics because our household bins are full of them, and they are a highly visible pollutant which are easily blown into waterways and hedgerows. Our starting point will always be to identify where our members can remove unnecessary plastic packaging. But where flexible plastic packaging serves an important purpose, such as preserving food or for hygiene reasons, it is imperative that we have the means to recycle it.”

More information available on the website below