Co-op becomes 1st retailer to back Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan

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The company suggests that others should follow suit, and we here at Plastic Expert suspect that they will, and in large numbers!

Iain Ferguson, environmental manager for the Co-op said in an official statement regarding the Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan, “we are proud to support this initiative as we recognise it is essential that everyone plays their part in increasing plastic packaging recycling”.

He continued to say “We are committed to significantly increasing the recyclability of our packaging, but know that so much of the change needed must come from working together as an industry”.

Not shy to encourage competitors and other industry leaders to join their mission to increase plastic packaging recycling, he added “we may be the first retailer to sign up to PIRAP but we also want to use this opportunity to call on other retailers and suppliers to move with us”.

“We’re already working on some interesting innovations with our packaging and we have a history of doing the right thing when it comes to making recycling easier for our customers – the PIRAP plan includes work we have already started and also lays out some targets for us to focus on.”

What exactly is the PIRAP?

The Plastics Industry Recycling Action Plan is a multi-faceted approach to redesigning the way the industry tackle plastic packaging to improve recycling rates and reduce wastage. Some of the methods involved include: creating more end markets for recycling, improving engagement in recycling with householders and considering end of life activities in the design of packaging. There may be as many as 47 organisations who have signed up to take part in PIRAP, already.

One of the targets of PIRAP is to increase plastic recycling rates from 32% to 57% by 2017, which whilst we feel is almost impossible, will serve as a good incentive for businesses to push harder. Businesses who take part in PIRAP are forced to analysed their supply chain and see all of the possibilities for improving recycling, not just in their own facilities, but through their suppliers and customers too.

The PIRAP scheme was launched last year by WRAP and Plastic 2020, a group made up of the British Plastics Association, PAFA (Packaging and Films Association) and Plastics Europe. Their bold ambitions, together with the ideas and commitment of the 47 major supporters, could help businesses improve their supply chain and recycle more, but 32-57% in just over a year is superhuman, and goes beyond logic. Saying this, if all businesses and all people in the UK were to make a massive, unified effort, and everybody knew the rules, the goals and the best ways for success, it could happen.

The question is, what do the people know now about plastics, and what do they need to learn?

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