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£1 million fund to boost flexible plastic recycling

Tue 01 Jun 2021 | 06:56 am GMT
Michelle Urquhart | Products of Change Writer

The Flexible Plastic Fund is a UK industry first

Mars UK, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever to finance and launch £1m Flexible Plastic Fund. Five of the UK’s largest branded manufacturers: Mars UK, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever, have collaborated to form a £1 million fund to help make flexible plastic recycling economically viable for recyclers and easier for consumers. The Flexible Plastic Fund is a UK industry first and is being led by producer compliance scheme, Ecosurety, with support from environmental charity, Hubbub. In collaboration with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, the Fund intends to improve flexible plastic recycling and reduce plastic pollution by giving the material a stable value. This will in turn increase the supply of recycled plastic enabling industry to become more ‘circular’ and meet the forthcoming UK plastic packaging tax obligations. This will motivate investment in much needed jobs and infrastructure to make flexible plastic recycling a financially sustainable system in the UK. New research from the University of Sheffield suggests there is strong consumer demand for recycling flexible plastic with 95% of participants saying they would be willing to recycle their flexible plastics. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose have already signed up to support the initiative by hosting flexible plastic collection points in selected stores across the UK. Several other major retailers are set to follow suit. As a result, recycling this material will become increasingly accessible to consumers, as they will be able to recycle all types of flexible plastic packaging with participating retailers. Trewin Restorick CEO and co-founder of Hubbub said: “The Flexible Plastic Fund is a really important initiative to show that flexible plastics can be recycled and be financially sustainable. People are ready and willing to recycle their flexible plastics - we just have to make the infrastructure work. Collaboration is key to making this a success and we are urging more manufacturers to invest in the Fund, more retailers to collect flexible plastic for recycling and more recyclers to recycle flexible plastics.”
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