Signing of the Plastic Pact

The Greater Manchester Plastic Pact was one of the first and boldest Pacts to commit to reducing single-use plastics from the public estate by the end of 2024. The Pact was signed in 2019 by members of the Greater Manchester family including our 10 Local Authorities, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the NHS Foundation Trust.

We will help to eradicate the use of avoidable single-use plastics from the public sector in Greater Manchester by 2024. With support, we will review our practices, and make more sustainable choices about the products we use, and the way we deliver our services.’

— The Plastic Pact

What this means in practice

By signing the Pact, we will…..

  • Demonstrate personal leadership.
  • Share knowledge, data, insights and best-practice.
  • Review procurement processes and provide carbon literacy training to all staff.
  • Embed environmental sustainability criteria in social value procurement mechanisms.
  • Support new initiatives to reduce single-use plastics and increase recycling and re-use.
  • Raise awareness amongst staff, suppliers and the wider community to influence and change behaviour.

What have we done so far?

Since the launch of the Pact, we have achieved a great deal. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant changes in operations that increased the use of some single-use plastic items, we have still made a great deal of progress towards being single-use plastic free.

  • PlasticFreeGM campaign launched asking individuals and businesses to commit to reducing single-use plastics at home and work.
  • Water fountain pilot introduced to increase access to free water.
  • Greater Manchester Green Carrier Bag launched.
  • Iconic Paper Bee Straw launched to help reduce single-use plastic waste.
  • Grab Your Cup campaign launched helping to save 1.2 million disposable cups from going to waste by encouraging people to switch to reusable cups.
  • Recommendations published to reduce single-use plastics on the public estate in catering.
  • Social value framework reviewed and adopted by GMCA to promote environmental sustainability.
  • Greater Manchester single-use working group established to drive forward initiatives.
  • GMCA commits to becoming a Refill Destination to expand of the number of Refill points across the city-region.
  • Communication Toolkit and new factsheets launched to raise awareness of the new single-use plastic ban.

What’s next?

There is still more to do. Over the next year will we continue to work to reduce single-use plastics on the public estate and offer support and advice to business and communities to cut down on their own plastic waste.

Take a look at some of our top tips below for reducing single-use plastic waste at home, at work and what you can do as a business.

Small changes can make a big difference

At home

Small changes make a big difference. Take a look at some simple changes you could make to reduce single-use plastic waste in Greater Manchester. Don’t forget to download the Refill App to find places to shop, eat a drink near you, without the pointless plastic.

At work

There are lots of ways to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic we use at work. Here are some simple ways you can help.

As a business

If you are a business and are already offering refills or would like to, you can advertise this service. Simply sign up to the Refill app and put a sticker in your window to alert passers-by that they’re welcome to come on in and get a Refill. You could save up to 30% a year on what you would have spent on disposable packaging!


#Reuse not single-use.

If you work in the hospitality sector take a look at our factsheets for lots of advice on alternatives to single-use plastic items like cups, plates, trays and bowls.

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