KEY TARGETS INCLUDE MAKING ALL PLASTIC PACKAGING RECYCLABLE OR REUSABLE BY 2025
MAJOR INITIATIVES ALREADY UNDERWAY INCLUDE MAKING ALL WILKO BRAND WIPES PLASTIC FREE – THE FIRST UK RETAILER TO DO SO
To mark World Environment Day [5th June 2020], homes and garden retailer wilko is confirming its intention to help reduce plastic pollution by signing up to The UK Plastics Pact, a roster of measures focused on reducing the use of single use plastic.
The pact, which is managed by environmental not-for-profit WRAP, sees wilko commit to helping stop single use plastic polluting the environment via four targets.
The targets complement the wilko Plastic Plan, which includes commitments to ensuring there is a minimum of 30 percent average recycled content across all plastic packaging by April 2022, eliminating all problematic plastics and reducing unnecessary single use plastic in packaging and selected products by 2025 and also making 100 percent of all plastic packaging and products reusable or easily recyclable by 2025
Wilko has focused on meeting its environmental ambitions for some time and has already made many changes to its products and operations.
A key measure this year was to update all of its wilko brand wipes so that they’re plastic free and manufactured using a renewable plant-based viscose from a sustainable source; wilko is the first high street retailer offer plastic-free wipes across all of its 22 own brand options.
This change alone reduced customers’ annual plastic footprint by 1,300 tonnes from the wipes and by 23 tonnes from reformulated packaging. Wilko has also pledged to make further packaging reductions on its wipes. The switch is the equivalent of over 102m plastic bottles and 245m plastic bags*.
Importantly, wilko customers were not expected to pay more for going a little bit greener, as all own brand wipes sold remained at their everyday value price and offered the same levels of performance. The move has already proved successful and customer reaction to the reformulated wipes was positive, with sales up 40% vs the previous wipes.
Other sustainability initiatives from the retailer have included eliminating micro beads from wilko products, replacing plastic stem ear buds and removing single use carrier bags from its 415 stores nationwide, replacing them with reusable bags for life made from 100 percent recycled plastic. Wilko is also already making improvements to the eco-credentials of its home collections, with a particular focus on bedding and Christmas 2020 products.
Jerome Saint-Marc, wilko CEO, said: “As a family owned retailer, wilko understands the responsibility it has for future generations and is totally committed to reducing the impact of plastic on our environment. We’ve been doing good for 90-years and are committed to making positive changes to impact the next 90 years and beyond.
“We’ve been talking with our customers and they tell us that plastic reduction is important to them which is why we’re especially proud to be signing the UK Plastics Pact, which will become a key component in the measures we’re implementing to make sure we achieve our environmental ambitions.
“Wilko is the home of little wins – be that via the design or effectiveness of our products or Qenvironementally friendly as possible, is another impactful way in which we can offer a little win to our customers every time they shop.”
WRAP, which manages The UK Plastics Pact, is an environmental not-for-profit that works with works with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency.
Marcus Gover, WRAP CEO, said: “We are delighted to have wilko sign up to The UK Plastics Pact. Through our first-of-a-kind Pact we are working together with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic so that we retain its value, but prevent it from polluting the environment.”
Wilko will continue to showcase its business wide environmental ambitions as part of Plastic Free July. For more information on wilko, please visit their website here.