Companies pledge to cut plastic pollution – UK

Posted on April 29, 2018 by DrRossH in Plastic Limiting Regulations

More than 40 firms including Coca-Cola have promised to reduce harmful packaging.

Source: Companies pledge to cut plastic pollution

More than 40 companies have signed up to a pact to cut plastic pollution over the next seven years.

The firms, which include Coca-Cola and Asda, have promised to honour a number of pledges such as eliminating single-use packaging through better design.

They have joined the government, trade associations and campaigners to form the UK Plastics Pact.

The signatories are responsible for more than 80% of plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets.

One of the promises which companies, such as consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble and Marks & Spencer, have signed up to is to make 100% of plastic packaging ready for recycling or composting by 2025.

This might sound a big deal and it could be.  But given the description above it could mean very little change at all.  Recyclable and recycled are two very different things.  We only recycle about 10% of our 100% recyclable plastic now, what is going to change our ways?   Making it compostable is virtually a waste of time.  Any compostable plastic will not biodegrade in the oceans.  Period!.  A compostable plastic will only biodegrade under very specific conditions and it is unlikely that any consumer plastic will ever reach a commercial compost facility which is the only place it will biodegrade.   And even if there was some massive expenditure on the infrastructure and education program to get compostable plastics to a commercial compost facility why would you do that?  When  compostable plastic does biodegrade it gives off CO2.  This means all the internal energy of the plastic has been lost as heat in the compost pile.  If you sent the same plastic to a Waste to Energy Plant that internal energy could be mostly captured and converted to electricity at least.

It would appear most of the content in the article is spin.  We need real changes to tackle this problem not a few vague mentions from industry.