Major food brands launch fund for bag, pouch recycling

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Flexible Plastic

Flexible plastic is notoriously difficult to recycle.
Courtesy of Flexible Plastic Fund

Some of the United Kingdom’s largest consumer goods companies and supermarkets have jointly launched a $1.5 million fund that aims to invest in efforts to make plastic bags, wrappers, firms, pouches, packets and sachets easier for consumers to recycle while also driving down costs for waste management firms.

The Flexible Plastic Fund has been launched by Mars UK, Mondelez International, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever in a bid to boost recycling of so-called “flexible plastics,” material that is difficult to treat because it contaminates other plastic recycling streams and clogs up machinery, they explained.

Industry figures estimate that just 6 percent of U.K. flexible plastics — otherwise known as “soft plastics” or plastic bags and wrapping —was recycled in 2019, despite the material’s representing 22 percent of all consumer plastic packaging. Meanwhile, just 16 percent of U.K. local authorities provide flexible plastic recycling services. Read more