Bakery manufacturers commit to reducing plastic

Allied Bakeries, Premier Foods and Speedibake are among 42 business to sign up to the UK Plastics Pact, a collaboration to tackle plastic waste.

Spearheaded by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the initiative brings together major food and drink players, manufacturers and retailers as well as plastic reprocessors and packaging suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic used in the UK.

The Pact members are responsible for 80% of the plastic packaging on products sold through UK supermarkets. A further 15 organisations have also showed their commitment to the pact.

The collective, which includes the major supermarkets, Birds Eye and Coca-Cola European Partners, has committed to hit a series of ambitious targets by 2025. They are:

  • 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% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

WRAP said the UK Plastics Pact was the first of its kind in the world, and will be replicated in other countries as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative.

“Our ambition to eliminate avoidable plastic waste will only be realised if government, businesses and the public work together. Industry action can prevent excess plastic reaching our supermarket shelves in the first place,” said environment secretary Michael Gove.

A spokesperson for Allied Bakeries added: "We readily signed up to the WRAP UK Plastics Pact as part of our commitment to being a responsible business. We are in the process of looking at what we can do to reduce plastic waste and look forward to updating consumers in due course."

Premier Foods said it strives to reduce packaging and encourage recycling where possible. "We strongly believe that in order to effectively address the global issue of plastic packaging waste, we must work collaboratively across industry, governments and with consumers. We are therefore delighted to be a founder member of the UK Plastics Pact; a unique collaboration bringing together the entire value chain under a common set of ambitions, to keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment," a spokesperson said. 

Frozen specialist Iceland, which has not signed up to the pact, announced in January that it would eliminate all plastic packaging from its own-label products by the end of 2023.

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