DAERA joins The UK Plastics Pact

Date published: 24 July 2020

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Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has announced that DAERA has joined The UK Plastics Pact.

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The Pact is a trailblazing, collaborative initiative, delivered by WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.  The initiative is unique because it unites governments, local authorities, non-government organisations (NGOs) and businesses involved in producing, selling, collecting and reprocessing plastic, to deliver ambitious targets for change by 2025.  

Although plastic is a valuable resource and plays a huge role in our economy the current system has negative consequences for the environment and is not resource-efficient. We need to take a systemic approach to tackling the causes of plastic waste, not just the symptoms.   We need to move away from a system where we take, make and dispose of plastic that creates unnecessary waste that often ends up polluting the environment.  We need to move towards a circular system where we keep plastic in the economy and out of our natural environment.

Minister Poots said: “I am happy to announce that my department is to participate in this initiative as it supports our commitment to the New Decade, New Approach intention for the Executive to create a plan to eliminate unnecessary plastic pollution and also to UK-wide targets for change.

“Although my department already supports a range of initiatives to tackle plastic through its delivery partners and is working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in England and devolved administrations on further UK-wide measures, as a ‘Pact’ member, we are now able to work with industry partners to focus on issues around eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging of items.”

The overall aim of the Pact is to support the delivery of the UK Government’s target of achieving zero avoidable plastic waste by end of 2042.  The four key Pact commitments are by 2025:

  • to achieve 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable;
  • to take actions to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models;
  • to deliver 70% of plastic packaging effectively being recycled or composted; and
  • to have 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

Marcus Gover, Chief Executive from WRAP said: “I am delighted to welcome DAERA as a member of The UK Plastics Pact. We are working with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic to keep its value, but stop it from polluting the environment. This is a challenging journey, but by coming together we will eliminate the plastics we don’t need, and transform the plastics we do need so they can be easily recycled, reprocessed and used again and again. Having the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) working with us in Northern Ireland means we can significantly increase work on the ground there, through its influence, commitment and networks.”

Minister Poots added “Working with businesses, local authorities, NGOs and citizens is the only way to transform the UK plastics system. I have no doubt that The UK Plastics Pact will yield both economic and environmental benefits for the UK and Northern Ireland.”                 

Further information on The UK Plastics Pact can be found on the WRAP UK website or on social media by following/using #UKPlasticsPact

Notes to editors: 

  1. See pages 15-22  for guidance on using the UK Plastics Pact logo on the WRAP UK website.
  2. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook
  3. All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office at: pressoffice.group@daera-ni.gov.uk
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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