Plastic waste

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Half the UK’s plastic packaging is not currently recycled

 A ground breaking collaboration to create a UK system for compostable packaging has announced big-hitting backers for retail as new board members.

Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Ocado have joined the Compostable Coalition UK, which launched last year with £1.2m of funding from the UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge.

The supermarkets have committed to help explore the practicality of effectively collecting, sorting and recycling compostable packaging via the UK’s existing collection and treatment streams.

The move comes with 50%, or 1.2 million tonnes a year, of the UK’s plastic packaging not currently recycled.

Areas where there is little or no recycling include teabags, coffee pods, fresh produce packaging and foodservice packaging, with the coalition set to help find solutions working with Defra, Wrap and the UK Plastics Pact.

“We are delighted to have assembled such a formidable group of packaging and wider industry experts to join our research project,” said Tomos Davies, a spokesman for the Compostable Coalition.

“Their insights and expertise will prove invaluable in finessing the research project as well as ensuring the objectivity and robustness of our research trials. With the advisory board’s expert input, we are confident the project’s findings can successfully signpost industry and governments towards the necessary policy and behavioural interventions.”