Wilko signs UK Plastics Pact
Homes and garden retailer Wilko has agreed to a roster of measures focused on reducing its use of single-use plastic after signing the UK Plastics Pact.
The initiative, which is managed by environmental not-for-profit WRAP, commits signatories to four key targets, such as ensuring 100% of their plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
“We are delighted to have Wilko sign up to The UK Plastics Pact said WRAP CEO Marcus Gover. “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,”
The targets complement Wilko's Plastic Plan, which includes commitments to ensure a minimum of 30% average recycled content across all its plastic packaging by April 2022, eliminate all problematic plastics and reducing unnecessary single-use plastic in packaging and selected products by 2025, and also making 100% 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, making it the first high street retailer offering 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.
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% recycled plastic.
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.”