UK beverage suppliers eye eliminating packaging waste by 2030

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Photo by CISL All bottled water and soft drinks packaging to made from 100% recyclable or reusable material by 2030

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and a group of leading bottled water and soft drink manufacturers have launched a report at the House of Commons, which sets out an ambitious roadmap to eliminate plastic packaging waste from the bottled water and soft drinks value chain by 2030.

The independent industry-led report, launched today (6 Sept) has been developed collaboratively by the industry and its stakeholders, and covers key actions to make eliminating plastic packaging waste a strategic priority.

The actions outlined by the roadmap include a commitment by producers to make all bottled water and soft drinks packaging made from 100% recyclable or reusable material. The suppliers should also aim for at least 70% recycled material by 2025.

Additionally, producers and the government are to investigate the optimal material of the future for bottled water and soft drinks that would eliminate plastic waste with “lowest overall environmental impact”.

As part of the plan, both industry players and the government will conduct “research into” consumer behaviour to support recycling ambitions towards achieving a ‘circular economy’ for bottled water and soft drinks packaging.

The government is also required to create a consistent nationwide recycling system, and reinvest revenue from new policies into UK recycling, sorting and reprocessing capacity.

The report, titled “Towards sustainable packaging: A plan to eliminate plastic packaging waste from UK bottled water and soft drinks”, was developed with input from the Future of Plastic Packaging Working Group: Lucozade Ribena Suntory and members of the Natural Hydration Council: Brecon Mineral Waters, Danone Waters (UK and Ireland), Harrogate Water Brands, Highland Spring Group, Montgomery Waters, Nestlé Waters UK, Shepley Spring and Wenlock Spring.

“The report we have released today with leading companies from these sectors aims to provide a clear, strategic and ambitious roadmap for transformation of their value chain in the UK, enabling real impact and action on this problem and spurring the sector forward into a new way of operating,” said Eliot Whittington, director of policy at CISL.

According to Whittington, the stakeholders are now seeking to convene working groups to deliver on the four pathways set out in the report.

The report is a welcome addition to previous industry commitments on reducing plastic waste.

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