Top celebrities join industry and NGOs calling for ‘refill revolution’

Over 35 NGOS, brands and celebrities have backed an open letter calling for legally binding reusable packaging targets. 

Greenpeace UK, Oceana UK and Ocean Bottle lead the open letter signatories compiled by UK environmental charity City to Sea ahead of World Refill Day on 16th June. 

It was delivered to the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties at their HQs in London by over 20 campaigners from organisations including City to Sea, Ocean Bottle and Reposit.

City to Sea criticises the pace of change, stating “progress transitioning the country away from single-use packaging is far too slow” and is demanding legally binding targets of 30 percent of packaging to be reusable by 2030.

The charity says that single-use plastic packaging is the largest culprit for plastic pollution in the UK, with households throwing away almost two billion pieces of plastic packaging each week.

Campaigners are calling for a national transition to reuse and refill systems which eliminate the need for unnecessary single-use plastic packaging.

Retailers and brands have played their part by trialling refillable and returnable packaging for certain products; for example, Ecover’s laundry and cleaning products are now available at over 700 in-store refill stations around the UK.

However, City to Sea says legislative change is crucial to scale these pilot schemes, and bring about real change for industry.

CEO, Jane Martinsaid: “It’s brilliant to see so many organisations, from NGOs such as Greenpeace and Oceana, and brands such as Ocean Bottle unite behind a reuse revolution. Here at City to Sea, we have been working with our partners to expand refill and reuse trials, helping industry to take steps towards a world with less plastic pollution.

‘However, for real change to take place, a level playing field, facilitated by government intervention, is crucial and businesses must be operating within a harmonized regulatory framework. Through our manifesto we are calling for government commitment to tangible measures such as supporting a legally binding Global Plastics Treaty, rolling out Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and a complete ban on single-use packaging. The time to act is now”.

Rudy Schulkind, Political Campaigner at Greenpeace UK added: “14 years of piecemeal action and broken promises by the government has seen the plastics crisis spiral out of control. Time and time again they’ve given in to the interests of the plastics industry instead of taking decisive action. The public are rightly furious and want change.The next government has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn the tide by introducing binding reuse targets in the UK and to lead on the world stage by securing a Global Plastics Treaty that cuts production.”

Shoppers using City to Sea’s refill app are detected to their nearest stores offering zero-waste shopping and water bottle refills.

Image: Celebrities, broadcasters, explorers and activists are getting behind City to Sea’s campaign

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