In an article published on September 26, 2018, by news provider Beverage Daily, editor Rachel Arthur summarized the main outcomes of a report by the University of Cambridge, UK, on sustainable beverage packaging. The Institute of Sustainable Leadership published the report on behalf of the Future of Plastic Packaging Group whose members are ten bottled water brands.
The report addresses the urgent issue of plastic packaging waste from bottled water and soft drinks, demands collaborative business action and creates a vision for a future without plastic packaging waste by the year 2030. According to the vision, “zero plastic packaging goes to landfill or escapes to the natural environment, bottled water and soft drinks packaging is made entirely from recycled or renewable materials or both,” and “packaging is designed to be fully reusable or recyclable and is recovered or recycled.”
To achieve the vision, eight actions led by industry, government, or both were suggested, including (1) a revision of the extended producer responsibility (EPR) policy, (2) the implementation of deposit return schemes, (3) reinvesting revenues into recycling capacity, (4) reducing the volume of plastic use and using only recyclable or reusable materials, (5) standardized labeling of packaging, (6) alternative delivery models, (7) research investigating the optimal packaging material with the lowest net environmental impact, and (8) research in consumer behavior change. If the proposed milestones are achieved, the objectives of the UK Plastic Pact (FPF reported) will not only be met but even exceeded.
Rachel Arthur (September 26, 2018). “The quest for the most sustainable beverage packaging.” Beverage Daily
University of Cambridge, Institute of Sustainable Leadership (September 2018) “Towards sustainable packaging: A plan to eliminate plastic packaging waste from UK bottled water and soft drinks.” (pdf)