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07.09.2021
Latest News Wrap-Up /

In-store collections gain momentum

In the Wrap-Up this week …  In-store flexible collections gain momentum. The wonders of evolution in packaging. Challenges of circularity for plastic film. World's first closed-loop recycling scheme. "Perfect storm" facing food manufacturing. And more ...

FOR STARTERS …

IN-STORE COLLECTIONS GAIN MOMENTUM
 
As the major supermarkets vie to lead on flexible plastics recycling, Tesco has installed facilities at all its larger stores.

It is also reported that Sainsbury's has previously said its 520 supermarkets would offer a recycling system for all flexible plastic, and the Co-op aims to have recycling units for soft plastics in 2300 stores by November.

Marcus Gover, CEO of WRAP, has said: "Tackling plastic bags and wrapping is the UK Plastics Pact's number one priority, and increasing front-of-store collection points is a great step forward."

However, there is also a note of concern about whether the infrastructure and end markets exist to deal with the volume of material.

WONDERS OF EVOLUTION IN PACKAGING

In our latest blog, we have explored the rapid and creative evolution of circularity for ready meal packaging, focusing on Evolve by Faerch trays.

You may also be interested in these resources:

 
RECYCLING ROUND-UP

Baby steps

Heinz has linked up with Tesco and recycling charity RECOUP to launch a scheme to recycle baby food pouches at the kerbside.

Say cheese

Recyclable packaging is to be used for the Dairylea and Philadelphia cheese brands in the UK and Ireland. The move to replace the previously used polystyrene packaging with widely recycled polyethylene (PET) plastic is part of Mondelez International's Pack Light and Pack Right strategy.

Also, Mondelez claims that Philadelphia will be the first major cheese brand to use chemical recycling by the end of next year.

Tricky challenge
 
The issues and potential solutions for the collection, handling, sorting, and processing of plastic film have been examined by Circular.

The conclusions include: "It will be increasingly important for brand, packaging, waste and reprocessing industries to work collaboratively on realistic solutions which improve the transition to circularity for this incredibly versatile but tricky group of materials."

Force of habit
 
Philip Chadwick, Editor of Packaging News, has provided us with further food for thought. Including how in-store drop off points could make a real difference regarding hard-to-recycle flexible plastics and could lead to consumers making a habit of recycling the materials.

Ireland is leading the way on that front with a radical overhaul of waste management, meaning that all plastic packaging waste, including soft plastics, can now be placed in household recycling bins.

IN TRAY NEWS
 
World's first closed-loop recycling scheme

The UK's leading home delivered ready meals supplier has introduced 100% recyclable trays alongside a recycling collection service for its customers. The initiative from Wiltshire Farm Foods is thought to be the world's first closed-loop recycling scheme.
 
ECO-FRIENDLY LABELS
 
Lidl have announced they are one of the first retailers to trial Eco-Score labelling. The Eco-Score is a five-level product label that shows information about products' sustainability at a glance.
 
ON THE COMPOST HEAP
 
Systems failure

Biodegradable packaging sent by consumers for composting is ending up in landfill as UK facilities lack the technology to deal with it, according to a recent investigation by The Telegraph.

A similar problem exists in Canada, where sorting systems cannot distinguish between compostable materials and traditional plastic.

Shelf-life boost

On a more positive note, compostable packaging, like our C Range of products, is as effective as conventional plastic and may even outperform it for the shelf-life of fresh produce, according to new studies.

LINKS IN THE FOOD CHAIN

Production driving gas emissions

Food production is responsible for about a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, according to the BBC. For example, an estimate suggests an 8oz raw steak from the UK generates 5.8kg CO2 equivalent, almost the same as driving five miles in an SUV.

However, it's worth noting that flexible packaging plays a minor part in a food's product's environmental footprint (on average less than 10%) but a significant role in preservation.

Plant-based growth

Winterbotham Darby is to open a second plant-based manufacturing facility at its Milton Keynes production site as part of a £5m investment into its meat alternative brand Squeaky Bean. It's another reminder about the value of animal-free packaging.

Grocery sales slump

Waitrose was the only major grocery retailer to record sales growth over a recent three-month period, according to market share data.

Staff shortages add to strain

Food manufacturing in the UK is under such strain due to staff shortages that some production may have to move out of the country, a retail group has said.

And the pressures from staffing to labour costs to the price of raw materials has been described as a "perfect storm" facing the industry.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

PS:

  • Pure poetry … An Ode to Packaging, written and read by Lindy Hughson, Managing Editor of PKN Packaging News.
  • Role play … Kim Ragaert (who posed the question: "Are plastics causing the proverbial end of the world?") is taking up the new Chair of Circular Plastics as full professor at Maastricht University (Netherlands).
  • On the ball … We're delighted to again sponsor Tooting Bec Ladies FC team as they kick off a new league campaign.

From the KM team … stay safe, keep up the good work, and value plastic.

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