pladis UK & Ireland, the snacking company behind the well-loved McVitie’s, Jacob’s and go ahead! brands, has today announced a wide range of measures to reduce its environmental impact through plastic waste. The announcements, which mark a key milestone in pladis UK&I’s long-term strategy to tackle plastic waste, include:
• pladis UK&I has signed up to the UK Plastics Pact and is pledging to make all of its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. 1
• It will be improving labelling and joining the On-Pack Recycling Label scheme, to ensure consumers are clear on how and where to recycle their packaging. 2
• It has extended its six-and-a-half-year partnership with TerraCycle, so that all its plastic packaging across the portfolio can now be recycled through the initiative. 3
Scott Snell, Customer Vice-President at pladis UK & Ireland, said: “In many ways, plastic is a fantastic material; it’s lightweight, keeping fuel use down during transportation, it’s durable and it keeps our food fresh, dramatically cutting down on food waste. But these same properties mean that plastic is causing extensive damage to our wildlife and oceans, so we need to make sure that it is recycled and reused, rather than ending up in the environment.
“This is why we’re announcing a comprehensive strategy for the long-term, while at the same time taking important steps that will have an impact right now. We’ll be working closely with industry partners to make all our plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025, and in the meantime, we want to make sure all our consumers have the opportunity to recycle their wrappers, which is why we’ve extended our TerraCycle partnership to our entire snacking range.
“97% of households buy biscuits over the festive period, and the vast majority of these contain plastic packaging that could be recycled through pladis’ TerraCycle partnership so now is the perfect time to start recycling those wrappers.”
Marcus Gover, CEO, WRAP, said: “We are delighted to have pladis UK and Ireland joining The UK Plastics Pact. Through our first-of-a-kind Pact we will work together with governments, citizens and business to transform the way we make, use and dispose of plastic so that we retain its value, particularly in reducing food and drink waste, but prevent it from polluting the environment.”
Although flexible plastic wrappers are not collected by local council recycling collections, pladis UK & Ireland has partnered with recycling experts TerraCycle for over six years to enable consumers to recycle the wrappers from their favourite treats.
Since the partnership began in 2012, millions of biscuit and cake wrappers have been recycled into items such as park benches and garden equipment, rather than ending up in landfill sites, and pladis has donated over £100,000 to charities across the country. Consumers can either send their wrappers to TerraCycle by freepost or drop them off at one of nearly 500 collection points around the country.
Tom Szaky, CEO and Founder of TerraCycle, said: “pladis has been a valued partner of TerraCycle’s for a number of years now in the UK and Ireland. Firstly for the biscuit wrapper category, and more recently it was great to see them expand the programme to cover the cracker and cake wrapper categories which was well received by consumers.
We encourage consumers to help spread the message to friends and family that they can recycle their biscuit, cracker and cake packaging. They can do this by using one of 500 public drop off locations or signing up as a private collector on the pladis Biscuits and Snacks Recycling Programme.”
Consumers who wish to recycle their plastic wrappers through the TerraCycle partnership can sign up via www.TerraCycle.co.uk, where they can also find their nearest drop-off point.
1 UK Plastics Pact
The UK Plastics Pact is a collaborative initiative, delivered by WRAP, that will create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together the entire plastics packaging value chain behind a common vision and ambitious set of targets:
• By 2025, 100% of our packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable
• By 2025, 70% of packaging to be effectively recycled or composted
• By 2025, take actions to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging items through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models
• By 2025, 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging
The Pact will stimulate innovative new business models to reduce the total amount of plastic packaging. It will also help build a stronger recycling system, where we take more responsibility for our own waste, and ensure plastic packaging can be effectively recycled and made into new products and packaging and, with the support of governments, ensure consistent UK recycling is met.
The immediate focus will be on identifying the priority projects that will deliver greatest impacts in the short and long term, such as overcoming barriers to increasing the amount of recycled content used in new packaging, developing reusable packaging and working with partners to overcome the issue of un-recyclable black plastic.
2 On Pack Recycling Label scheme
The On-Pack Recycling Label scheme aims to deliver a simple, consistent and UK-wide recycling message on packaging to help consumers recycle more material correctly, more often. That simple consistent message is now recognised by more than 7 in 10 consumers, thanks to over 600 brands now using it. More information available at www.oprl.org.uk
TerraCycle specialises in recycling hard-to-recycle waste, including flexible plastic packaging that most councils in the UK do not recycle. Consumers can choose to send wrappers into TerraCycle via freepost or drop them off at one of nearly 500 public drop-off points around the UK. The wrappers are then turned into items such as playground equipment and gardening equipment.
pladis UK & Ireland has partnered with TerraCycle since 2012, and in 2018 extended its partnership to cover all its brands, including McVitie’s, Jacob’s, Carr’s and go ahead!, thereby increasing the amount of packaging that consumers can recycle.
4 During the three months to Christmas, British households purchase 648 million packs of biscuits, compared to an average of 613 million packs in the remaining three quarters of the year.