Aluminium Can gets most recycled drinks container

Aluminium beverage cans have been made the world’s most recycled drinks container at a recent Smithers Pira conference.

Aluminium Can gets most recycled drinks container

The Smithers Pira Sustainability in Packaging Europe Conference heard stats from Metal Packaging Europe indicating seven out of 10 drinks cans sold in the UK are recycled and 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today.

Steel for packaging recorded an average European recycling rate of 78% in 2015, which included five countries exceeding 85%.

With the greater focus being placed on packaging, consumers are now more concerned about waste produced and want to be informed of the most up to date recycling statistics.

Martin Constable, chairman of the Can Makers, said: “The news that aluminium cans are now confirmed as the most recycled drinks packaging in the world is great news for environmentally concerned consumers. The can is the ideal packaging of choice for brands to meet their own sustainability targets as well as meet customer demand for ‘greener’ packaging.”

Whilst these numbers are encouraging, there remains much to do to reach the 2020 metal packaging industry ambition of an 80% European average rate.

Analysts have called for a legislative framework to create a functioning circular economy.

Amazon delivery contained 45ft of packaging paper

Amazon criticised on social media for using up to 45ft of packaging paper to protect a wall calendar.

Amazon delivery contained 45ft of packaging paper

One customer posted images of the over-sized paper packaging; Annie Gelly purchased the £9 Collins A2 calendar online expecting it to arrive in a Jiffy bag or envelope and was shocked to see ‘such a waste’ of paper.

“The calendar arrived last Thursday and it has masses of paper in the box – there were nine lengths of screwed-up brown paper which measured about 45ft in total.

“Amazon always package stuff this way – I’ve had things like this in the past and they’re particularly prone to it – but this really took the biscuit. I think it’s bad for the environment and you would have thought Amazon of all people would be aware of that kind of thing and try to be more careful.”

In another order, the length of paper was 26ft long.

That unnamed customer said: “I know that the paper they use is recycled, but I can’t help but think Amazon are still chopping down the rainforest. It was so excessive – but on the plus side, I won’t need to buy any wrapping paper this Christmas.”

An Amazon spokesperson said: “We continue to pursue multi-year waste reduction initiatives – e-commerce ready packaging and Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging – to promote easy-to-open, 100 percent recyclable packaging and to ship products in their own packages without additional shipping boxes.

“These initiatives have grown to include more than 1.2 million products over time and have eliminated more than 36,000 tons of excess packaging just in 2015. If executed well, our innovations will also help us to reduce prep, packing material and shipping supplies and reduce our operational costs by increasing the use of recycled materials. They will also increase the overall density of the packages we ship – good for transportation savings and less waste for our customers – and reduce the things that get damaged in transit and eliminate wasted packaging.”

A coherent plan needed for on-the-go packaging

Plastic beverage bottles were under the spotlight as MPs continued to quiz industry figures as part of the inquiry into disposable drinks packaging.

A coherent plan needed for on-the-go packaging

The Environmental Audit Committee heard evidence from packaging and retail experts, who defended plastic packaging while also arguing that a coherent strategy for on-the-go packaging was needed.

Barry Turner, director of plastics and flexible packaging at the British Plastics Federation, argued that the sector was taking action to boost recycling rates as well as improving the amount of recycled plastic in bottles. But he argued that the UK’s contribution to plastic pollution was small compared to other countries.

Also giving evidence was Alice Ellison, head of the environment at the British Retail Consortium, who said: “We want to move to a circular economy but why just look at plastic bottles? There is a gap [in recycling] from on-the-go consumption. That needs to be addressed.”

Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said that the UK did not have adequate recycling facilities.

He said: “Our sector wants to reuse as much as possible. We want to work with the government to get some consistency. There is consumer confusion on what to recycle and where.”

Ellison added: “The PRN system is not perfect. You currently have a perverse incentive to export waste abroad. That could be removed very quickly. A reformed PRN could have ring-fenced budgets to tackle different things. If the business does this alone then not everyone will come with us. It needs vision and a strategy from government.

Another concern was how the waste policy would be shaped post-Brexit. Turner said that the EU circular economy package had been a major driver for change and that he would not want to see a divergence in riles.

“We rely on Europe for a lot of legislation which has been, by and large, beneficial,” he added.

Turner said that the plastic packaging industry was keen to see improvements in recycling and said that the sector was calling for a more consistent approach to design. He was challenged by the committee’s chair Mary Creagh MP, who asked why unrecyclable films were wrapped around plastic bottles.

“We advocate that they use the right material,” said Turner. “We cannot dictate to a brand what they should do. It’s a commercial decision for them.”

Supporting the local community Foodbank

Here at A&A Packaging Supporting the local community has always been the desire to ‘give something back,’ so we try to support the many, who support us…

Supporting the local community Foodbank

Horndean Foodbank provides a short-term, free, emergency food supply for families in crisis.

For more information on how to donate to the Horndean Foodbank charity follow the link: horndeanbaptistchurch.org.uk/our-projects/foodbank/

 

 

Businesses are not looking to reduce packaging costs

A recent nationwide YouGov survey conducted for Davpack Packaging has shown that 95% of small businesses are not looking to reduce packaging costs.

Businesses are not looking to reduce packaging costs

The survey, conducted in July, showed, however, that 36% of decision-makers in over 1,100 small and medium-sized businesses are actively looking to cut their business costs in the near future. With most of the responses citing leaving the E.U. as their key reason for cutting costs, the survey shows that packaging is an area that is least likely to be cut. Staffing, marketing, and professional services respectively, have shown to be areas that are more likely to be cut ahead of the country’s political future.

While this may mean a slow decline in the employment or service industries outside the packaging industry, most SME’s decision makers are positive about the future of the packaging industry and are keen to ensure that their packaging continues to communicate and display their company’s values and beliefs to their customers.

Barney Byfield, managing director of  Davpack Packaging, commented: “We are in constant conversation with our customers about their business needs, and Brexit is often mentioned as an uncertainty. However, the indications are that the packaging market continues to expand and that customers don’t foresee a need to cut costs on this business essential. In fact, we are currently experiencing strong demand across the board, not just within economy packaging supplies, but also added value areas such as custom printed boxes and e-commerce solutions”

“However, many businesses do feel a need to offset the uncertainty around the future impact of Brexit with some cost reductions today as an insurance policy. We will continue to monitor the situation, because if companies feel more affected as Brexit gets closer, this is likely to affect business confidence and, in turn, demand for packaging supplies.”

Of the 5% who do want to target reductions in packaging, 31% cited that Britain leaving the EU was the main reason for this consideration. While the country’s decision stands, the packaging industry will see a shift in spending, but it can be assured that amongst SME’s the packaging industry will continue to use packaging as a marketing tool as the country presses forward.