Plastico, a UK market leader in disposable polypropylene glasses and catering disposables to the foodservice and retail sectors, has announced a collaboration with Closed Loop Environmental Solutions to launch the UK's first ‘Closed Loop' compliant Plastic Cup.

Each purchase of the cup, to be launched in January 2018, will include a contribution from the supply chain that will be directly invested into providing a robust collection and recycling system with a long term goal to recover all cups placed by Plastico in to the marketplace. "It is a myth that our industry does not want to be responsible for the materials with which we manufacture", commented John Reeves, Head of UK & European Sales at Plastico. "We see real value in these used materials and have a responsibility to put in place closed loop schemes that transform these assets in a number of innovative ways".

"This is a complex issue and difficult to execute industry-wide. This is why we have partnered with Closed Loop Environmental Solutions who have a proven capability in designing and implementing customer and market programmes, and with particular expertise in recycling plastic bottles and paper cups", added John.

Plastico has recently invested £5m in its UK-based manufacturing facilities that has secured increased capacity to meet future growth plans and achieve the lowest carbon footprint in the industry. This key strategic move will help lead the plastics industry towards a more self-sufficient solution that will result in a significant drop in the amount of single-use plastics sent to landfill or worse, escaping the traditional litter system and ending up in our rivers and oceans. Initially, the reclaimed material from the ‘Closed Loop' cup will be manufactured into non-food related plastic products, however the long term vision is to incorporate the recycled material into Plastico's range of catering products.

Commenting on the announcement, Peter Goodwin, Director of Closed Loop Environmental Solutions said;"We have said for a long time that a tax on disposable packaging will be inevitable if the foodservice sector continues to drag its heels. Following similar agreements we have signed recently in Australia, with 7-Eleven and Qantas, we are delighted that Plastico has taken the lead in the UK that will now set the precedent for others to follow"."This self-regulated scheme should also mitigate the need for taxation - and at a dramatically reduced cost to all parties than the 25p per cup currently being suggested, for example, with paper cups. In addition, the solution will also lead to reduced disposal costs for customers as further economies of scale are achieved. Whilst the Plastico agreement will initially cover plastic cups and straws, we are looking to expand the Closed Loop ‘compliant' range to cover all food and beverage packaging", added Peter.Closed Loop ES aims to make the application of its ‘Closed Loop' logo on packaging the recognised industry standard which demonstrates that organisations, in the supply chain, are contributing to the investment in collection systems and reprocessing infrastructure that has, to date, been woefully lacking in the UK. The expectation is that once the initial investment has been made, and the solution moves from a linear to a more circular model, it will become self-funding.

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