Launched in March in Brussels, this Pact brings together governments and businesses within the European Economic Area (EEA) to work towards a common vision for a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste or pollution.
The announcement was made by the European Plastics Pact’s founding nations – The Netherlands, Denmark, and France, in recognition of WRAP’s experience in managing the ground-breaking UK Plastics Pact and its longstanding history of delivering results through voluntary agreements, such as the award-winning Courtauld Agreement tackling food waste.
WRAP’s role as Secretariat of the European Plastics Pact will include providing the day-to-day management, resources and governance structures required to co-ordinate and run the Pact, as well as being the focal point for members. WRAP will co-ordinate and support technical working groups to tackle pressing cross-border issues in order to facilitate quicker progress towards a circular economy for plastic in Europe. It will also monitor and track progress.
As the first regional Pact in the network, the European Plastics Pact focuses on opportunities to drive ambitious action across country borders. Together, the 114 members, including 17 governments and more than 70 companies, of the European Plastics Pact have committed to a set of ambitious 2025 targets:
- Make all plastic packaging and single-use plastic products reusable where possible, and in all cases recyclable
- Reduce the need for virgin plastic products and packaging by at least 20%
- Increase the collection, sorting and recycling capacity of all plastics used in packaging and single-use products in participating countries by at least 25 percentage points
- Boost the use of recycled plastics as much as possible, with an average of at least 30% recycled plastics across single-use plastic products and packaging
The European Plastics Pact joins the France, Chile, The Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal as part of the Plastics Pact network set up by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and supported by WRAP, a globally aligned response to plastic waste and pollution that enables vital knowledge sharing and coordinated action. The first of these was The UK Plastics Pact, launched two years ago by WRAP, and which has already made significant progress in transforming the plastics system in the UK.
As the first regional initiative, the European Plastics Pact provides a unique opportunity to drive ambitious and consistent action across country borders, and a platform to share learning and good practice.
Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, who attended the Brussels launch alongside ministers from across Europe, said: “The UK Plastics Pact lit the torch for a growing and dynamic movement for wholescale and systemic change across the world – the only way to truly eliminate the scourge of plastic pollution. I’m delighted that WRAP has been chosen to play a leading role in The European Plastics Pact; not least because the Pact’s collaborative, evidence-based approach absolutely epitomises how WRAP operates.”
Sander Defruyt, Lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: "We congratulate WRAP for taking on the role of the Secretariat of the European Plastics Pact, the first supranational initiative in our global Plastics Pact network. It will unlock vital collaboration between governments, businesses and NGOs from across the European Economic Area towards concrete 2025 targets to eliminate the plastics we don’t need, and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be circulated in the economy and kept out of the environment. We are delighted to work with WRAP and the Pact members towards a circular economy for plastic, in which it never becomes waste or pollution."