It’s recycling Week, and my team, and lots of others across the Food business are working really hard towards the target we announced at our AGM in May.
When members voted for Motion 12 – to make 80% of our packaging ‘easy to recycle’ by 2020, and 100% in the future, it told us that packaging recyclability mattered to them, and gave us the mandate to keep doing more.
What changes have we made?
Just before the AGM we announced that we were changing all our pizza discs from polystyrene to recycled card. This will save 200 tonnes a year from landfill or incineration, and create 450 tonnes of recyclable card.
We’ve also made some great progress since the AGM, including:
- changing all of the black trays on our Irresistible tomatoes to card, improving the recyclability and the presentation, and increasing sales too
- changing the punnets on mushrooms from black plastic to blue, making them widely recyclable
- trialling different types of recyclable protein packaging
These things have helped us move from 45% ‘easy to recycle’ packaging, to 69%, so we’re well on track to reach our 2020 target.
You can read more about our work with recycling, food waste and other issues that our members tell us matter to them, on our Food Matters pages.
Making recycling easier
Recycling isn’t always easy, and a lot of packaging goes un-recycled because of complexity – mainly around packaging wording and regional differences in collections.
The effort really is worthwhile though, as recycling conserves resources, saves energy, reduces landfill and helps protect the environment. It’s estimated that current UK recycling saves more than 18 million tonnes of Co2 a year – equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.
One of the best sites for finding out what can and can’t be recycled is Recycle Now. It has a handy ‘What to do with’ guide, so you can choose from hundreds of items including food, oil, aerosols, clothing, lightbulbs and even musical instruments – then add your postcode to see your local recycling arrangements.
Thanks for doing your bit, and Happy Recycling Week!
Environment Manager – Food Policy