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Plastic is flying off the shelves

In the Wrap-Up this week ... Plastic is flying off the shelves. Why compostable packaging is crucial for food waste recycling. Clearing the coast of plastic waste. UK-wide interactive recycling map. Meet John Shipley, our international "champion". And more …



Asda is moving all of its chicken range out of plastic trays and into new pouches, saving 450 tonnes of plastic a year.

The move, which will be completed by mid-summer, will reduce plastic packaging across the range by up to 50%.

It coincides with Co-op announcing it will remove plastic bags for life from sale in all of its 2600 stores, warning that the low-cost, reusable bag has become the new single-use carrier.

At the same time, the retailer is rolling out compostable carriers to "ensure that customers can purchase a low-cost, low-impact alternative bag with a sustainable second use".


Meanwhile, more than 60,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for all UK supermarkets to stop selling plastic bags and provide compostable bags. 

Of course, a caveat is that compostable bags are still a source of pollution if they are placed in a recycle bin and end up in landfill.


Compostable packaging is crucial if food waste recycling is to be increased, according to a report based on responses from experts across Europe.

We have explored the topic in further detail in a new article, including our home-compostable C-BAG suitable for fresh produce, bakery, and meat.



  • Clearing the coast: Sainsbury's is working with Prevented Ocean Plastic to turn plastic collected from the coast into packaging for strawberries and fresh fish. The initiative will remove more than 297 tonnes of plastic waste – or 12m plastic bottles – from potentially becoming ocean plastic pollution.
  • Say cheese: The Cheese Packaging Recycling Programme has been launched by Cathedral City in partnership with recycling experts TerraCycle. Consumers are being encouraged to collect film packaging and nets from their favourite cheese brands and drop it off at public access points across the UK.
  • Post waste: Across the pond, consumers can send their flexible plastic packaging by post for free in a new recycling initiative by America's largest grocer, The Kroger Co.
  • 100% recyclable: Down under, PepsiCo has become the first large food business in Australia to move to 100% recyclable packaging across its entire snacks range. It has also launched its Greening the Green programme to work with local sporting facilities to streamline rubbish separation and collection and increase soft plastics recycling.
  • Film approval: In Europe, multi-material film with 15% nylon has received RecyClass technology approval and is suitable to be recycled within the PE-flexible stream.
  • Interactive recycling map: In the UK, SUEZ recycling and recovery has released an interactive digital map that colour-codes local authorities based on their recycling rate. 


For Stop Food Waste Day, the Plastics Industry Association reminded us that global food waste emits nearly as much greenhouse gas as either of the world's two largest economies. And that plastic prevents food waste, as also illustrated in the recent Flexible Packaging Association infographic.


Vegan products are continuing to surge in popularity as manufacturers and retailers pledge to promote vegetables to consumers. If you're interested in animal-free packaging, we work with partners worldwide to ensure we have suitable certified solutions.


  1. Proseal's tray sealing for plant-based proteins means optimum shelf life.
  2. Packaging Automation's fast and energy-efficient machines keep products fresh and protected.


In Packaging News, Australia: "Global flexible packaging and lidding films supplier KM Packaging has become a REDcycle partner, with products in its K Peel lidding film range already REDcycle approved."

MEET THE TEAM - John Shipley

John Shipley is our "champion" on the international scene, as KM's Business Unit Director for Oceana, Asia and the Middle East. Find out more about John, his dislike of greenwashing and his passion for flexibles, football, family, and friends.


  • Green labelling: A new climate label has been exciting European food brands. The higher the "Eco-score", the greener the product.
  • Natural resources: Some of the highlights of a deep dive into bio-based packaging innovations for 2021.

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

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