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Our commitment to rid the East of England of plastic

Discarded plastic floating in water

In 2018, Anglian Water became the first water company to make their commitment to helping eliminate plastic waste from the East of England by 2030.

This ambitious pledge aims to tackle all plastic waste which isn’t reusable, recyclable or compostable. Anglian Water is the first water company globally to look beyond our own business impact, and to make a commitment to leading the whole region and the environment we protect.

Serving a tenth of the UK population, we have already rolled out free water refill schemes with City to Sea in numerous towns and cities across the region and we fund a wide volunteer network – Rivercare and Beachcare – in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy. These community groups work to remove plastics and other rubbish from the rivers and beaches and encourage people to look after their local environment.

Our pledge outlines how we plan to bring together a coalition of big businesses, manufacturers, retailers and suppliers from across the region to tackle problem plastics across their whole life-cycle; from manufacture to disposal.

Our key areas of focus to help us achieve this goal include:

  • Understanding the true scale of the problem by working with our research partners across different sectors to calculate what quantity of plastics are at large in the region.
  • Joining together with other businesses, manufacturers and retailers who make plastics in our region to find solutions to reduce the amount of plastics getting into the environment. Recently we have launched the ‘Fine to Flush’ campaign with Water UK and other water companies to encourage manufacturer’s to develop wet wipes which are truly flushable and contain no microplastics.
  • Working with our customers to help them continue the fight against plastics in their own homes by increasing support for Anglian Water initiatives like RiverCare and BeachCare, Refill and Keep it Clear.
  • Eliminating single use plastic waste within the whole Anglian Water business, from every nook and cranny in company offices through to plastics that may be used across our extensive supply chain.

Research conducted by Anglian Water showed our customers are greatly concerned about the impact microplastics are having on the environment and revealed overwhelming support for developing a better understanding of the types of microplastics that end up in rivers and seas. Specifically customers saw the water company as having a vital role to play in leading and influencing others across the region on a plastic-free journey.


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