In 2018 we became the first water company to announce a radical commitment to rid the East of England of plastic pollution by 2030.
It’s a big challenge, but we know it’s an important issue to our customers and in line with our purpose to bring environmental and social prosperity to our region, we’ve made it a priority for our business.
What types of plastic are we trying to eradicate?
Plastic pollution – the accumulation of micro, meso or macro plastic products in the natural environment which have the potential to cause harm to wildlife, habitats or human life.
Single use – any plastic item that is only to be used once before it is discarded or recycled.
Plastic waste – all plastic materials that after use either end up in the natural environment, are sent to landfill, or are not entered into a closed loop recycling system.
How are we tackling the challenge?
Our plastics strategy has four main areas of work:
understanding the true scale of the issues we face by working with partners across different sectors to calculate a baseline of the quantity of plastics at large in the region
forming a coalition with businesses and organisations, working collectively to find solutions to reduce the amount of plastics getting into the environment
working with customers and staff to help them continue the fight against plastics in their own homes. By increasing support for Anglian Water initiatives like the RiverCare and BeachCare programme, Refill and Keep it Clear, together we can help stop our sewer networks being a conduit for plastic waste
eliminating single-use plastic waste across the whole Anglian Water business and its supply chain.
East of England Plastics Coalition
Together with our partners at Eunomia, we’ve formed a coalition of likeminded businesses, local authorities, regulators and NGOs to find solutions to reduce the amount of plastics getting into the environment. This exciting collaboration pools knowledge and facilitates the direction of available resources towards initiatives that aim to tackle the most pressing plastic pollution challenges for the East of England.
Tackling plastics across the water industry
Aside from our own commitment is a company, as part of the water industry’s wider Public Interest Commitment we’ve pledged to prevent the equivalent of 4 billion plastic bottles ending up as waste across the whole of England. This equates to an equivalent of 50,000 tonnes of plastic.
We will end the use of avoidable single-use plastics in our businesses and support the contribution which the public can make by championing water refills and through education. Our ambition is to be world leading in the role water companies can play in the wider campaign to cut down on plastic pollution.