Firms agree to replace single-use plastic with more sustainable materials

All covering will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, they vowed.

They will ensure 70 per cent is recycled or composted — and that plastic covers contain an average of 30 per cent recycled content.

Food and drink firms, supermarkets, manufacturers, retailers and plastic reprocessing plants are among 42 companies to have signed the UK Plastics Pact.

They are behind more than 80 per cent of plastic packaging in supermarkets. Fifteen other bodies, including the British Retail Consortium and Food and Drink Federation, have also signed.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove hailed it and said: “Eliminating plastic waste will only be realised if Government, businesses and the public work together.”

Marcus Gover, chief of waste reduction body Wrap — leading the pact — said: “We’ve a once-in-a-lifetime chance to curtail damage plastic wreaks on our planet.”

Its waste pollutes countrysides, harms sealife and can enter the food chain. Wrap said other countries would follow the scheme.

Green activist Sian Sutherland called it “a huge step forward” but said seven years was too long to wait.

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