Monthly Archives: January 2017

Westminster debate on unrecyclable packaging

Westminster debate on unrecyclable packaging. A potential ban on unrecyclable packaging has been debated in Westminster by a cross section of MPs.
Westminster debate on unrecyclable packaging

An online petition gained more than 75,000 signatures, triggering a debate by Conservative MP David Mackintosh.


Resources minister Therese Coffey delivered the Government’s response, refusing to back a ban on unrecyclable packaging and continuing its stance for a voluntary approach.


“It is ultimately for businesses to decide what packaging materials they use to supply products to customers, and for customers to make choices on the products they buy,” she said.


Coffey said current packaging regulations incentivised businesses to use less packaging and ensure it can be recycled.

She also repeated Defra’s commitment to meeting the 50% household recycling target by 2020 and said the department expected to introduce the circular economy package into law.


The Industry Council for research on Packaging and the Environment (Incpen) earlier voiced its concerns about the Westminster debate.


Some of the comments on its social media feed read:


“Banning non-recyclable packaging will increase, not reduce waste!”


“It might seem anti-intuitive but mixed-material, non-recyclable packaging generates LESS waste than recyclable packaging…”


“Why don’t those who call for packaging producers to pay more, ask the newsprint & magazine industry to pay more too?”


Conservative MP Mark Pawsey, chairman of the all-party group for the packaging manufacturing industry, said: “A great deal of what is contained in the e-petition is not practical.”


He gave the example of food packaging, pointing out it often uses multiple polymer plastic wrapping to protect the product from hazardous material.


Pawsey also disputed the benefit of compostable packaging, saying it could end up being a contaminant if incorrectly sent for recycling.


And he stressed the importance of retailers using use as little material as possible.


There is absolutely no point in over-packaging, and no point in creating too much or in making the plastic or board out of too thick a gauge – that would add cost unnecessarily.”


Martin Kersh, executive director of the Foodservice Packaging Association, welcomed the statement from Coffey and said the debate highlighted the need to ensure MP’s are fully aware of the core requirements of packaging, particularly that packaging is produced to ensure the public can have complete confidence in the safety of its contents, arrives in the household undamaged and reduces food waste.


“If they did have this understanding the proposer of the motion would not have made references to such thing as over packaging when Courtauld accepted packaging optimisation is the key requirement. The industry must get these key messages across to all MP’s so they are much better equipped to look at any future petitions and proposals in a more balanced and informed way. The decision by the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee to prevent national bans on specific forms of single use packaging must surely bring into question whether this Petition should proceed.”


He added: “I’m pleased the debate took place and it demonstrates MP’s want to see more packaging recycled, so we also need to impress upon them need for investment to ensure our waste management system reflects the way consumers live their lives today.”

Unilever Commits to 100% Recyclable Plastic by 2025

Global FMCG Giant Unilever Commits to 100% Recyclable Plastic by 2025 ensuring that all of its plastic packaging is fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Unilever Commits to 100% Recyclable Plastic by 2025

The move is also designed to encourage other FMCG firms to accelerate progress towards the circular economy.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF), just 14% of the plastic packaging used globally makes its way to recycling plants, while 40% ends up in landfill and a third in fragile ecosystems. By 2050, it is estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans.
To help transform global plastic packaging material flows, Unilever has committed to:

  • Ensure all of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  • Renew its membership of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation for another three years and endorse and support their New Plastics Economy initiative.
  • Publish the full “palette” of plastics materials used in its packaging by 2020 to help create a plastics protocol for the industry.
  • Invest in proving, and then sharing with the industry, a technical solution to recycle multi-layered sachets, particularly for coastal areas which are most at risk of plastics leaking into the ocean.

Unilever has already committed to reduce the weight of the packaging it uses this decade by one third by 2020, and increase its use of recycled plastic content in its packaging to at least 25% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline, both as part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
In 2015, it achieved its commitment of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its manufacturing operations.
Paul Polman, Unilever chief executive, said: “To address the challenge of ocean plastic waste we need to work on systemic solutions – ones which stop plastics entering our waterways in the first place. We hope these commitments will encourage others in the industry to make collective progress towards ensuring that all of our plastic packaging is fully recyclable and recycled.
“We also need to work in partnership with governments and other stakeholders to support the development and scaling up of collection and reprocessing infrastructure which is so critical in the transition towards a circular economy. Ultimately, we want all of the industry’s plastic packaging to be fully circular.”
Ellen MacArthur added: “By committing to ambitious circular economy goals for plastic packaging, Unilever is contributing to tangible system change and sends a strong signal to the entire fast-moving consumer goods industry. Combining upstream measures on design and materials with post-use strategies demonstrates the system-wide approach that is required to turn the New Plastics Economy into reality.”

Packaging firm delivers hope to refugees

Packaging firm delivers hope to refugees, A&A Packaging firm from horndean has been praised for backing a charity’s bid to deliver essential supplies to stricken families in war-torn Syria.

Packaging firm delivers hope to refugees

The season of good will shows no sign of ending in the village as A&A Packaging have donated empty boxes to the Don’t Hate, Donate campaign.

Their donation will make a huge difference as the boxes have been filled with vital supplies that will be given to people who have escaped Aleppo and other war-ravaged parts of the country. The firm, located on westfield industrial estate, decided to help after being contacted out of the blue by a campaigner a few days before Christmas.

The items in boxes have all been donated by Well-Wishers with collections taking place between 10am and 9pm every Wednesday and Sunday at Venture Tower, Fratton Road, Portsmouth.

Chantelle Burton, Don’t Hate, Donate trustee, thanked A&A for its generosity and hopes other firms around East Hampshire, Havant and Winchester districts will copy their lead.

For details and to donate visit Venture Tower on Wednesdays and Saturdays or look for the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.