Sustainable packaging move by pladis to remove 80 million trays from landfill annually

Global snacking group pladis has pledged to remove all non-recyclable black plastic and PVDC film from its British ranges by this June, saving 80 million trays from landfill each year, reports Neill Barston.

The business, which includes brands such as McVitie’s, Godiva and Jacob’s, asserted that its move would go a significant way to reducing its overall environmental impact.

Furthermore, the company has made a continued commitment to prioritising the development of sustainable packaging solutions across bestselling lines, reducing CO2 emissions from transportation.

The company recently confirmed that it is set to move to a new international headquarters in Chiswick, London, this summer, which will also include a regional base for its UK teams.

“As part of our commitment to the UK Plastics Pact, we’ve been working hard to transition our rigid plastic trays from black to recyclable cloudy rPET, which contain a minimum of 30% recycled content,” explains Sylvain Cuperlier, Head of Sustainability at pladis.

“We’re pleased to announce that the last black trays were produced in late December and we will complete this transition by the summer, after which there will be no more pladis-produced black plastic in the market. This will save 80 million plastic trays from landfill every year.”

In addition to the eradication of black plastic from its supply chain, pladis has increased the amount of ‘Recycle Ready’ monopolymer film used across the business – it now represents 64% of all packaging film – and removed 35% of PVDC film, cited by the UK Plastics Pact as a ‘problematic plastic’, with the remaining 65% due to be eliminated by June 2021.

What’s more, as part of its drive to prioritise sustainable packaging solutions, pladis has overhauled the packaging for many of its bestselling lines.

“Shoppers will have noticed the changes we’ve been making as they purchased their favourite festive biscuits in the lead up to Christmas,” continues Cuperlier. “Last year we made some important adjustments to our bestselling McVitie’s Victoria assortment, including downsizing the card outer and incorporating a fully-recyclable cloudy plastic tray.

“By swapping the traditional black tray for a recyclable alternative, we were able to save over 60 tonnes of plastic from landfill over the festive period. These changes reflect our commitment to tackling plastic waste in response to the British public’s justifiable concerns about packaging and sustainability.”

The snacking company also has several projects underway to enhance the recyclability of products across its portfolio and minimise its environmental impact.

“Across our product range we are actively identifying improvements that can be made to our packaging,” adds Cuperlier. “From opportunities to reduce non-recyclable plastic, to design updates which mean we can swap out components which make certain types of packaging harder for shoppers to recycle.

“As part of this we’ve reduced height and board grade on outer packaging for our Jacob’s Mini Cheddars brand, meaning during transportation, we can fit more boxes on every truck. By removing trucks from the road, we’ve been able to reduce our CO2 emissions by 127 tonnes per year. Similarly, through making changes to the cases which package our McVitie’s Nibbles and Flipz products, we’ll be removing 84 tonnes of CO2 from our supply chain annually.

“We’ve also redesigned our Jacob’s caddies and our new, fully-recyclable caddies will be in store later this year.”

Scott Snell, Vice President of Customer at pladis UK&I says: “In 2018 we set out our ambition of making all of our plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

“Our plan to remove black plastic from our entire on-shelf portfolio by summer 2021 illustrates our commitment to making our packaging more sustainable and is one of many great strides we’ve made in this area. We’re pleased to confirm we’re on track to hit our targets, plus make a real impact long-term.

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