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Shop and drop your flexible packaging

In the Wrap-Up this week … Shop and drop your flexible packaging. The store guide to recycling. Call to halt overseas dumping. Waste producers put in the spotlight. Why litter prevention is essential. And more …


Supermarkets trial flexible collections

Flexible plastics are to be collected in select UK stores as Aldi and Waitrose set up trials to help customers recycle problem materials.

Aldi customers can deposit clean, flexible plastic packaging in collection bins at 20 of its stores in the North of England and East Midlands.

If the trial is successful, the collection bins will be rolled out across all of Aldi's more than 900 UK stores. The move will provide shoppers with an option to recycle their soft plastics that are not currently collected by most UK local authorities.

Shoppers at Waitrose will be able to recycle plastic packaging in some stores from today. The trial scheme, available at 37 branches, will run for an initial period of 12 weeks.

Tesco and Sainsbury's have already begun to offer similar schemes.

Recycling guide for stores

WRAP has released a guide to help retailers simplify recycling for their customers. The key takeaways for retailers are:

1.    Collect "all flexible plastic packaging" at front-of-store locations.
2.    Always refer to the material as "plastic bags and wrapping".
3.    Recycling containers should be easy to find and access.

The guide supports the ambition of The UK Plastics Pact for supermarkets to provide widespread collection points for plastic bags and wrapping in advance of kerbside collections, and collect 10% of material placed onto the market by the end of 2022.

Call to halt waste exports

Greenpeace has called on the government to stop the UK's plastic waste from being dumped on other countries.

Investigators reported finding heaps of British plastic abandoned or burned in Turkey where, along with Malaysia and Poland, the largest amounts of plastic waste were exported from the UK last year.

The British Plastic Federation (BPF) has responded, saying: "The plastics industry supports introducing robust measures to prevent fraud and enforcing existing regulations to ensure that exported plastic waste is handled in an environmentally sound manner.

"The industry has been calling for years for the UK to reduce its reliance on exporting plastic waste for recycling."

The BPF's Recycling Roadmap provides a vision for dealing with plastic waste by 2030. It answers many questions, including what is needed to cut our plastic waste exports and recycle more in the UK.

Top producers in the spotlight

The UK is the fourth-largest producer of single-use plastic waste per capita globally, according to a new report. And just 20 firms – topped by Texan oil company ExxonMobil – produce 55% of "throwaway" single-use plastic that ends up as waste worldwide.

EVERY LITTER BIT HELPS: Preventing flexible packaging from becoming litter is essential for a more sustainable future. Flexible Packaging Europe shows why in their latest animation.

FLEXIBLE VIEWPOINT: Flexible packaging has a huge role in enabling governments to reduce carbon emissions and food waste. Our business unit director John Shipley shared this view and more with an in-depth article for Packaging News (Australia).

LEADING THE PACT: Aldi, Woolworths, and Coles have all joined a pact to radically cut down the amount of plastic used in Australian supermarkets. The ANZPAC agreement sets goals to be achieved by 2025, including 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, and eliminate unnecessary and "problematic" plastic packaging.

FEEDING THE HUNGRY: Graduate trainee Konrad Webster is our latest team member to volunteer at FoodCycle. This charity project supports people who are hungry and lonely by providing daily meals across the country. Konrad was able to participate through our Best Place to Work scheme.

WELCOME TO KM: Alan Hewitt has recently joined KM Packaging as Business Development Manager. Alan has a wealth of experience spanning nearly 50 years that includes successful periods at Sappi Rockwell Solutions and, earlier, Americk Packaging Group (now Saica Flex).


CRUMBLIEST, FLAKIEST, SCARCEST: The UK faces a shortage of Cadbury 99 Flakes after a surge in demand for ice creams topped with the crumbly chocolate treat. Plus, do you know why it's called a 99?


(And read our blog on lidding films suitable for HPP).

  • Foodex – 5-7th July, NEC Birmingham.

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

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