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Latest News Wrap-Up / 21.12.2022

2022 Annual News Wrap-Up

That was the year that was: Plastic packaging tax launched. Guidance on how to prepare for EPR. Major project launched for recycling of flexibles. Collapse of recycling scheme. Notable packaging initiatives. KM setting the AA-grade standards. And more …

In our annual wrap-up:  We take a look back at some of the headlines we shared during 2022.



The UK Plastic Packaging Tax came into force on April 1, and its effectiveness was immediately questioned. Packaging manufacturers and industry bodies feared the tax lacked the necessary detail to reduce fossil fuel-based material usage effectively.

Also, there was concern the tax would instead punish businesses actively attempting to lower their carbon footprint.


The Government and CEFLEX published guidance to support UK organisations as they began preparations for the extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging.

We produced a quick guide to EPR and published an article on how recycled content plays a vital role in the future of plastics. Alan Lockhart, Business Unit Director at KM, also told Grocery Trader (see Page 76) that EPR will be a key driver in packaging development over the next two to three years.

Organisations affected by the EPR for packaging must take steps to collect the correct packaging data from January 1, 2023.


Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) stated concern about high raw material costs and current energy prices. We also reported the effects on the food and agricultural sector of the war in Ukraine would be “profound” with ramifications across the food chain

Meanwhile, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) published an insightful webinar entitled "Global Polymers Update - Trends, Fundamentals and a Look Ahead to 2022".


The boss of Tesco said households are switching from buying fresh food to cheaper frozen goods as the cost of living bites into budgets. Proseal took the opportunity to remind us why tray sealing is perfect for frozen food and the convenience market in general.



The UK's largest collaborative project was launched to support the collection and recycling of flexible plastic packaging. The multi-million-pound FlexCollect initiative aimed to provide local authorities with financial support and expertise to deliver a series of collection and recycling pilots until 2025.

Also, CEFLEX and Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) joined forces to recycle household flexibles at a commercial scale in Europe.


Waitrose and Lidl were the UK's greenest supermarkets in a ranking of their greenhouse gas emissions and efforts to cut plastic and food waste. They topped Which? magazine's first supermarket sustainability table.


  • Big food and beverage firms were set to miss their plastic sustainability targets, according to a progress report.
  • Aldi struggled to deliver on its sustainability commitment of making all own-label packaging recyclable by the end of 2022.
  • Iceland was set to miss its target of removing all plastic from its own-brand products this year due to the pandemic and war in Ukraine.


Plastics were reported to have a lower total GHG (greenhouse gas) contribution than alternatives in most applications.


Leading brands were accused of making claims about plastic packaging that amount to “greenwashing”. Root Innovation had looked at the problem of greenwashing, including the EU’s new Substantiating Green Claims initiative.


Plastics charity RECOUP warned that switching from plastics to other materials will not solve the waste crisis. And an IGD report called for an urgent reassessment of the UK packaging strategy.


We reported that moving to mono was a shift in most major markets due to mono material’s significant contribution to packaging recyclability. PKN Packaging News invited us to collaborate on an article on the topic (see Page 34).

We also launched PCR product solutions across our K-Peel®, K-Foil® and K-Seal® ranges and released our range of sustainable lidding film solutions.


Australia’s largest plastic bag recycling program, REDcycle, collapsed amid revelations hundreds of millions of bags and other soft plastic items dropped off by customers were being secretly stockpiled in warehouses and not recycled.

Soon after, a groundswell of support began to grow for REDcycle. We also launched our range of REDcycle approved non-PET lidding films for the Australian market. You can read about our cold peelable combinations of PE and PPs lidding films in our “Sustainable Lidding Films – Australia” Insight Guide".


  • The European Commission revealed landmark plans to introduce new targets to reduce packaging waste, implement reuse systems, and boost the use of recycled material across all packaging formats.
  • New legislation was signed in California requiring all packaging to be recyclable or compostable by 2032 and for packaging makers to pay for recycling plastic waste.
  • A Recycled Materials Pledge was launched by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO).
  • Some of the world’s largest brands called for the creation of an international pact to address plastic pollution.
  • Nearly 200 countries agreed to start negotiations on an international agreement to take action on the "plastic crisis". UN members were tasked with developing an overarching framework for reducing plastic waste worldwide.


  • Black trays on blacklist: The US Plastics Pact identified 11 plastic packaging items in its “Problematic and Unnecessary Materials” list that were not currently reusable, recyclable, or compostable at scale and likely will not be by 2025.
  • Getting teeth into trays: A mono-material recyclable meat tray was launched that is sealed using a series of raised teeth instead of applying a layer of polyethylene or adhesive.
  • Sounds good on paper: A certified compostable and dual ovenable food tray based on paper was developed by Australian food packaging manufacturer Confoil and BASF.
  • Tests to reduce plastic: Packaging Automation shared how they were helping customers reduce plastic packaging in the fresh produce sector, putting NETPAC to the test.




Various packaging initiatives emerged during the year, including:

Reducing usage of plastic

Examples of steps to reduce plastic usage included:



In the spring, we announced that we had become an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). The move was to ensure KM remained true to its core values while continuing to grow and innovate for the greater long-term benefit of its employees, customers, and partners.

In July, Fran Busby joined us as Managing Director. Fran said: "I'm very excited to be given the opportunity to lead the KM team into the future."
We also welcomed:

20 years with KM

Amanda Taylor spoke to us about her 20 years with KM. From helping to gain quality certification to coping with surging energy prices, Amanda shared some insights into the joys and challenges of her career.

Still setting the AA-grade standards
We continued to set the highest standards for product quality and safety. We were awarded an AA grade in our BRCGS Audit for the fifth year.
We also published more information about our flexible solutions, including:

In the trade press, Packaging News (PKN) invited us to collaborate on an article on the topic of mono material.  Plus, we discussed sustainability in packaging in an edition of Grocery Trader.  

Your handy film calculator

We released a handy Film Calculator. The simple online tool lets you quickly calculate roll length, diameter, and material thickness.

In our case studies ...

  • Bags of freshness: Nonna Tonda started using our compostable zipper bags, developed in partnership with Treetop Biopak.
  • Kosher lids:  We collaborated with Kosher Arabia, who needed a peelable lidding film to work with their fibre tray.
  • Wonky bread: We provided a home-compostable bag for the UK’s first “wonky” bread box.
  • Resealable lidding film: You can read about our project with Best Berries in New Zealand.

Cling film innovation launched

We also launched a new alternative to traditional cling film – home-compostable C-Cling. It is clear, stretchy, and sticky and performs the same as conventional cling film. And it captured global attention, for example, in Australia, the US, Canada, and Singapore.

Looking to the future

What will 2023 deliver? We are planning to head into the New Year with some exciting news, so we hope you stay connected as we bring you more industry insights, snippets, and information.

From the KM team … thank you for your support during 2022 and we wish you all a safe, peaceful and happy holiday season.

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