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16.03.2023
Latest News Wrap-Up / 16.03.2023

Flexible recycling gathers pace

In our latest Wrap-Up … Supermarket opens recycling plant. Sustainable packaging entries sought. New roadmap for soft plastics. Coastal plastic used in fish packaging. Best before dates being binned. EPR reporting comes into force. And more …

FOR STARTERS …

FLEXIBLE RECYCLING GATHERS PACE

Supermarket opens plant

Morrisons has opened a new facility to reprocess “hard to recycle” soft plastic as it looks to develop a greater plastics recycling infrastructure in the UK.

The site in Fife will keep the material in a “closed loop”, saving it from being exported overseas.

Co-owned by the supermarket giant, the facility was constructed and will be operated by recycling plant specialists Yes Recycling. It is expected to repurpose an annual 15,000 tonnes of post-consumer packaging at full capacity.

More facilities for shoppers

Waitrose has launched soft plastic recycling at 295 stores to offer customers more recycling methods.

The plastic will be sent to a reprocessor in Glasgow, where it will be washed, separated, and flaked or pelletised to make it into new products or materials.

Seeking innovative design solutions

The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) competition on “collecting flexible plastic packaging waste at home” has opened for entries.

Innovative design solutions are being sought, and the application deadline is April 12. Winners will be eligible to receive a grant between £25,000 and £50,000 from Innovate UK to develop their ideas.

Lagging behind down under

Australia has set itself a target to recycle or reuse 80% of the waste produced in the country by 2030.

However, ABC News has reported that the country is currently lagging behind Sweden (recycling 95% of its glass), South Korea (recycling about 95% of its food waste), and the UK (recycling 49% of its plastic waste).

New roadmap for soft plastics

The Soft Plastics Taskforce has released a Roadmap to Restart, outlining the steps needed to launch a new supermarket soft plastic collection scheme in Australia.

The move follows the suspension last year of the REDcycle collection scheme. 

However, Packaging News points out that the soft plastics collection restart is not without challenges, including the inability to guarantee domestic recycling capacity.

Having established our official business entity in Australia, we remain committed to providing sustainable solutions to suit our customers’ requirements. This includes the launch of our K-Peel range of non-PET lidding films, PCR films and home and industrial compostable lidding film K-Nature Laminate 50. Check out our Insight Guide to Sustainable Lidding Films for more information.

PROOF OF THE PUDDING

Certified pots

Heinz and Tesco are collaborating with Berry Global in a first-of-its-kind project using chemical recycling of flexible film packaging dropped off by customers at the supermarket’s in-store collection points.

New Heinz Beanz Snap Pots incorporating 39% certified recycled flexible film are being produced in the pioneering trial.

Verified packaging

Tesco has started using recycled coastal plastic in some of its fish packaging, with the recycling verified using blockchain technology.

The packaging contains at least 30% recycled plastics from Europe’s Mediterranean coastline.

BUNDLE OF PACKAGING CHANGES

  • Finger lickin’ wood: Healthy kids’ food brand Little Dish is launching a new range with 100% recyclable packaging made of 85% wood fibre.
     
  • Tray-mendous: Sainsbury’s has announced it is swapping traditional, plastic tray packaging for a new vacuum-packed alternative across its beef mince range, saving 450 tonnes of plastic annually.
     
  • Papering over the crisps:  Walkers has partnered with Tesco to trial paper-based outer packaging on multipacks of its Baked range of crisps.
     
  • Sweet spots: Nestlé and Mars Wrigley are set to test-launch paper packaging for their popular brands in Australia.
     
  • Best practice: Co-op has revealed plans to remove “best before” dates from more than 150 fresh produce lines.

PACKAGING CLARITY

  • Transparent views: Transparency and sealing in cheese packaging are the most important features to consumers, according to research conducted by Amcor.
     
  • Clear guidelines:  EU-wide rules were adopted last year to safely use recycled plastics for food contact materials. Now you can access guidelines that explain the systematics of the new regulations and the detailed requirements for recycled plastics.

HOT OFF THE PRESS

  • Print breakthrough: The “world’s first” ovenable films and pouches printed with environmentally friendly water-based inks have been developed by packaging firm Sirane.
     
  • Latest design tool: The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has launched the latest edition of its packaging design tool PackScore which helps assess how design decisions will affect the ultimate recyclability of a product.

MEETING THE PACKAGING CHALLENGES

The BPF online seminar “The Challenges of Incorporating Recycled Content in Plastics Packaging” will take place on Tuesday, March 28. Since launching two years ago, the event has become one of the most popular in the organisation’s calendar.

EPR REPORTING COMES INTO FORCE

Plans to make it easier for consumers to recycle packaging waste have moved closer as reporting requirements for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) came into force. All obligated packaging producers must now collect information on the amount and type of packaging they have supplied.

IN THE COMPOST HEAP

  • Weighing up the cost benefits:  The cost-benefit role that compostable packaging can play in supporting a new plastics economy is to be analysed by Eunomia for the Compostable Coalition UK.
     
  • ’Ineffective’ waste method:  Home composting is not an effective or environmentally beneficial waste processing method for biodegradable or compostable packaging in the UK, according to the findings of a nationwide experiment involving almost 10,000 citizen scientists.

LISTEN ABOUT THE FLEXIBLE FUTURE

The future of flexible film packaging in a circular economy is the subject of a webinar from Packaging Europe. Highlights include an explanation of EU-recycling guidelines and the importance of mono materials in the recycling streams.

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES BLAMED FOR EMPTY SHELVES

Supermarket contracts and Brexit have been blamed rather than product shortages for the recent lack of fruit and vegetables impacting British consumers.

It has been said that such issues were not being faced elsewhere in Europe because they do not have the same cultural problems.

UNITED FOR GLOBAL ACTION

Some of the world’s most influential organisations have united to create a knowledge exchange network and pursue the eradication of plastic pollution.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Initiative, and WRAP hope to combine worldwide resources, including support for developing national action plans.

IN KM NEWS …

Welcome to the team!

We’re delighted to announce the appointments of Andrzej Kukula as Technical Manager and Antonio Ferritto as Supply Chain Planning & Purchasing Assistant.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

  • Interpack
    Dusseldorf, Germany
    May 4-10

    NB: A KM cohort will be attending, so please let us know if you would like to meet up.

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

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