Waste and Resources Action Programme

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WRAP was set up to create a market for recycled materials, and to help recycling take off in the UK. It does this by brokering and managing sector-wide voluntary agreements, forging partnerships and bringing together organisations that would not normally work together to work towards common goals.
WRAP was established in 2000 as a company limited by guarantee, and is funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Northern Ireland Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, the Welsh Government and the European Union.

WRAP has extended its work internationally, working with the United Nations on the One Planet Network. A major priority is the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.5. WRAP Global website

UK Plastics Pact


The UK Plastics Pact is a collaborative initiative that proposes creating a circular economy for plastics. It brings businesses from across the entire plastics value chain together with UK govts and NGOs to tackle the scourge of plastic waste. Together, the members are responsible for over 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold throughout UK supermarkets.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WRAP are behind the Pact. Gov.uk Funding (2013)

Objectives to be met by 2025

The firms have promised to honour several pledges; the test will be whether the pledges are translated into real changes.[1] The pact is voluntary, and there are no sanctions for those who do nothing.[2] Unfortunately, the Pact does not apply to the products themselves.
  • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through redesign, innovation or alternative (re-use) delivery models;
  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable;
  • 70% or more of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted;
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging;


Retail & Distribution

Packaging Manufacture + Design

Recycling/Waste/CSR companies

Trade Organisations

NGOs / Non-Profits

Academic Supporters

Govt + Govt-related Organisations


Recycle Now

Courtauld Commitment 2025

The Courtauld Commitment 20205 is a 10-year voluntary agreement which brings together organisations across the food system to make food & drink production and consumption more sustainable. It is a commitment to identify priorities, develop solutions and implement changes to cut the carbon, water and waste associated with food and drink by at least 20% over the decade. Decreasing food waste could save businesses £300m a year. Website

Further Reading

  • What is The UK Plastics Pact? link
  • Plastics Pact, link
  • The UK Plastics Pact members, link
  • The UK Plastics Pact member statements, link
  • UK Plastics Pact will Eradicate Single-Use Plastics, link - See also Bioplastics.


  • Apr.25.2018: Landmark ban on plastic: Over FORTY of Britain's biggest supermarket, food and drink brands pledge to ELIMINATE throwaway plastic within just 7 years. In a world first, 42 household names have set a deadline of 2025 to eliminate packaging that cannot be reused. Black ready-meal trays, crisp packets, pizza bases and food pouches are all covered by the "UK Plastics Pact". Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Aldi, Lidl and Pret a Manger have all signed the pact. They are joined by food and drink giants including Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Nestle, Unilever and Danone. Michael Gove backed the initiative. "Industry action can prevent excess plastic reaching our supermarket shelves in the first place." The initiative will not see plastic packaging completely removed from shelves. Plastic packs and bottles will be exempt if they can be reused, recycled or composted. Some supermarkets are going even further. Morrisons will today announce a trial in some stores on removing plastic packaging from fruit and vegetables. It will also allow customers to bring their own containers for products bought from butcher and fishmonger counters. Iceland, which has led the attack on plastic waste, is also promising radical action. The pact is supported by industry groups, by Keep Britain Tidy and by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which campaigns to protect the oceans. Greenpeace welcomed the initiative but insisted even more work was needed. "Action from the companies producing and selling much of the single-use plastic in circulation is absolutely vital if we’re to stem the flow of rubbish into our oceans,’ she said. ‘And for this effort to succeed it is crucial companies go beyond just making products recyclable – they need to turn the tap off at the source. This means cutting the overall amount of throwaway plastic being produced." The Marine Conservation Society said it was important that voluntary measures from firms did not become a substitute for legislative action. Earlier this month Theresa May signalled a total ban on plastic cotton buds, straws and drink stirrers to help protect the oceans. And Mr Gove is to bring in a deposit and return scheme on drinks bottles and cans. Sean Poulter, The Mail Online.
  • Mar.16.2018: Clothes worth £12.5bn are thrown in bin. Britons binned clothes worth £12.5 billion last year as the rise of “throwaway” fashion led to 300,000 tonnes of textiles ending up in landfill. More than half of those surveyed admitted throwing away perfectly wearable garments, rather than salvaging them for future use or donating them to friends, family or charity shops. Andrew Ellson, The Times.


  1. ^ Companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution. More than 40 companies have signed up to a pact to cut plastic pollution over the next seven years. David Shukman, BBC News, Apr.26.2018.
  2. ^ UK Plastics Pact will Eradicate Single-Use Plastics. BioPlastics News, Apr.26.2018.