Progress on plastics and what we need to do now

Plastic has undeniably been the most headline-grabbing material in recent years in terms of its environmental impact.

What has been achieved so far in terms of increasing its sustainability, and what more needs to be done?


Progress so far

In November 2020, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's second 'New Plastics Economy Global Commitment' report was published, of which Veolia is a signatory. This report detailed significant progress on two key points - the increase in the use of recycled material in plastic packaging between 2018 and 2019, and the elimination of some single-use and non-essential plastic. Particularly big milestones were the banning of plastic straws and cotton buds.


What more needs to be done?

The report identifies two key areas that need to be focused on moving forwards: increasing the recyclability of plastic packaging and reducing the need for single-use packaging. Alongside the goals set out by the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to create a circular economy for plastic by 2025, businesses also need to be thinking about increasing the amount of recycled material in plastic packaging in preparation for the Plastic Packaging Tax, which will come into effect in April 2022.

What part is Veolia playing?

Veolia has launched various initiatives to support the progress made so far, for example by launching the UK's first dual PET (Poly Ethylene Terephthalate) bottle and tray recycling facility, which will be capable of recycling 100% of clear rigid PET in a closed-loop system. We have continued to support manufacturers through both our ProCycle and Sustainable Packaging Academy services, helping them to increase the recyclability of their packaging. In addition, we have continued to invest in a range of new technologies and facilities to support the development of innovative new ways to increase the recyclability of plastic.

A cost-effective and innovative solution to handle hard to recycle materials, such as sweet and lolly wrappers, healthcare bottles, paper and plastic drinks straws, plastic toys and clothing.
Be part of the change toward sustainable packaging materials, reducing the environmental impact of your packaging waste.


For businesses looking to reduce the amount of virgin plastic they use or increase the recyclability of their plastic packaging, we can help. Get in touch to find out how.

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