The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has published a roadmap outlining the key steps UK businesses need to take to reduce plastic waste.

The UK Plastics Pact Roadmap to 2025 provides a framework for businesses to deliver the ambitious targets set out under the UK Plastics Pact, which was first unveiled in April 2018. These include eliminating problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging, making 100% of plastic packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable ensuring 70% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled.

Bakery manufacturers including Allied Bakeries, Premier Foods and Speedibake were among the first businesses to sign up to the initiative. Sixty-eight businesses, including major retailers, food and drink manufacturers and waste operators, are now committed.

The roadmap sets three key milestones of April 2019, the end of 2022 and 2025 for progress towards the goals. For example, by April 2019 it plans to publish criteria of what is classed as problematic plastics and what options are available to deal with them as well as exploring key opportunities for compostable plastic packaging.

WRAP said the roadmap is designed as “a living document that will evolve over time, reflecting changes in policy and innovations.”

“I’m very impressed with progress made in the first six months since we launched the Pact. This is proving to be a powerful and motivated group. The Roadmap is a real opportunity for them to forge ahead and make change happen at scale, and in significant ways,” said WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover.

“But these targets cannot be delivered by business action alone. It needs policy intervention as well as consumers to play a part.”

Notably, the organisation highlighted change in areas such as collections, recycling and reprocessing of materials. It is also looking at utilising flagship projects to tackle the barriers to improved sorting, recycling and use of recycled content.

Bakery manufacturers and retailers have already made progress towards increasing the recyclability and collection of their packaging. Hovis, for example, has added a new on-pack label and instructions encouraging consumers to dispose of their bread bags at plastic collection points in major retailers’ stores. Iceland, meanwhile, has committed to remove plastic packaging across all of its own brand items, including bakery ones, by the end of 2023.

British Baker subscribers can find out more about how the industry is tackling the plastics challenge by reading our latest feature here. For a wider look at the waste and recycling issues faced by the bakery industry read our latest waste management feature here.