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Helping companies get ahead of the game and get plastic-waste free

last modified Mar 22, 2018 05:55 PM
23 March 2018 – New initiative launched to set a plastic-waste free vision for the UK soft drinks industry.

Nine companies including Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Nestlé Waters, Danone Waters and Highland Spring Group have joined forces to set out an ambitious roadmap for UK soft drinks and bottled water companies to eliminate plastic packaging waste from their supply chains.

The new ‘Future of Plastic Packaging’ initiative, convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), aims to inform UK policy and help companies across the soft drinks supply chain get on the front foot and work towards eliminating all avoidable plastic waste well in advance of the Government’s 2042 target.

With plastic put firmly at the top of the agenda by high-profile campaigns that have driven increased consumer awareness, there is growing consensus from government, business and the public that more ambitious action is needed. The businesses joining the new initiative are committed to addressing the problem in their own operations and through wider collaboration with other companies and government.

Plastic waste presents a significant operational and cost challenge for companies and there are numerous potential solutions, but there are competing messages on what the right path to the future looks like. By working in tandem with other interested groups looking at solutions, as well as bringing together insights from across the supply chain, the initiative will seek to set out a clear roadmap to help companies from across the soft drinks supply chain choose between the options on the table confident that they will be implementing effective solutions.

“Many businesses are taking action to address the plastic waste problem and the UK government has signalled a commitment to act at the highest level,” said CISL Policy Director, Eliot Whittington. “But we currently lack a strategic vision for the soft drinks supply chain in the UK. That is why this multi-stakeholder group has come together – to create a clear ambitious vision and transformative roadmap to drive momentum on the plastics issue.”

The group will work towards this goal by:

  • Analysing the current landscape of activity across the soft drinks supply chain.
  • Defining an agreed level of ambition on eliminating plastic waste from soft drinks packaging.
  • Addressing some of the biggest knowledge gaps in the industry to help develop a clear plan of action for the soft drinks supply chain.

“There are changes ahead for the soft drinks industry. It is critical that we plan our future and look at the challenges collaboratively in order to find the solutions that will enable a smooth transition to eliminating plastic waste.” Les Montgomery, Highland Spring Group

Michelle Norman, Head of Corporate Affairs at Lucozade Ribena Suntory comments, “We absolutely recognise our responsibility to limit our environmental impact. We led the way when we created the first ready-to-drink bottle from 100 per cent recycled plastic for Ribena. It is through our collaboration with government and industry partners – and being an active partner in initiatives such as this, that we can improve the recyclability of our products, encourage consumers to recycle and make littering a thing of the past.”

As part of the work, CISL will host a facilitated roadmapping workshop on 27 March 2018 with the aim of identifying the optimum pathways towards an ambitious vision to eliminate plastic packaging waste from across the soft drinks supply chain.

It is open to all stakeholders across the UK soft drinks supply chain that are willing to be challenged with new ideas and who will be active participants in the roadmapping process.

Companies also have the opportunity to join the initiative and shape the resulting vision for the sector, as well as commit to actions that support implementation of the roadmap.

About The Future of Plastic Packaging: eliminating plastic waste

An independent, industry-led, multi-stakeholder working group made up of Brecon Mineral Waters, Danone Waters (UK and Ireland), Harrogate Water Brands, Highland Spring Group, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Montgomery Waters, Nestlé Waters UK, Shepley Spring and Wenlock Spring.


To create an ambitious roadmap and vision towards eliminating plastic packaging waste from across the soft drinks supply chain within the UK. This will seek to inform policy development and drive ambitious, collaborative business action, both in the short and long term, and to identify the optimum pathways for achieving the desired vision.

Key activities and output

Over an initial six-month period, commencing February 2018, CISL will convene a working group, bringing together multiple stakeholders from across the soft drinks supply chain. Working group members will be encouraged to take a leadership role in the process, through a meaningful, inclusive process to build consensus and engage with the soft drinks industry as well as the retail, packaging and recycling sectors.


CISL is seeking additional companies to join the working group who are part of the supply chain or are key stakeholders in the soft drinks industry. Members should be willing to commit to developing an ambitious and transformative vision and roadmap that addresses the issue of eliminating plastic waster from single use drink containers. Members will be expected to review their own progress in this and commit to actions that support implementation of the roadmap.

If you are interested please contact .

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Adele Wiliams

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