Drinks manufacturers submit report to eliminate plastic packaging waste

10 September 2018 (Last Updated November 5th, 2018 15:07)

Bottled water and soft drinks manufacturers in the UK have submitted a report to the House of Commons outlining a detailed plan to eliminate plastic packaging waste from the value chain by 2030.

Drinks manufacturers submit report to eliminate plastic packaging waste
The industry-led report outlines measures to eliminate plastic packaging waste from bottled water and soft drink value chain by 2030. Credit: University of Cambridge.

Bottled water and soft drinks manufacturers in the UK have submitted a report to the House of Commons outlining a detailed plan to eliminate plastic packaging waste from the value chain by 2030.

Released by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), the report calls on beverage companies to produce all their bottled water and soft drinks packaging using fully recyclable or reusable materials. The plan aims to ensure at least 70% recycled content by 2025.

The action plan includes efforts to be taken by producers and the government to identify materials that would be optimal for eliminating plastic waste.

Another key recommendation includes undertaking joint efforts to encourage consumers to support recycling goals for the creation of a circular economy.

“The bottled water and soft drinks sectors are showing commitment to finding a solution to the plastic packaging waste problem.”

In addition, the report urges the government to invest revenue obtained from new policies in recycling, sorting and reprocessing capacity.

Some of the major contributors to the report are Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Danone Waters, Harrogate Water Brands, Montgomery Waters, Nestlé Waters UK and Wenlock Spring.

CISL’s policy director Eliot Whittington said: “It is clear that the bottled water and soft drinks sectors are showing commitment to finding a solution to the plastic packaging waste problem and are grappling with the real challenges of doing so.

“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.

“We are now seeking to convene working groups to deliver on the four pathways set out in the report and encourage organisations and experts interested in eliminating plastic packaging waste to join them.”

The report comes at a time when the UK Government has announced or is carrying out steps to tackle plastic waste and marine litter. Recently, the UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed plans to launch consultations on doubling plastic bag charge to £0.10 from the existing £0.05 levy and also to extend the £0.05 charge to all retailers, not just big businesses.

In April this year, the government announced plans to ban plastic straws, drink stirrers and other single-use plastics.