pladis to ditch all black plastic from its UK&I portfolio

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

McVitie's Victoria selection in recyclable packaging. Pic: pladis
McVitie's Victoria selection in recyclable packaging. Pic: pladis

Related tags pladis Packaging Plastic UK Plastics Pact PVDC film monopolymer film

Aligned to its long-term sustainability targets, the McVitie’s maker is adopting a collection of new initiatives, including the total removal of non-recyclable black plastic from its portfolio.

The company said it had ceased production using black plastic at its factories in December 2020, and is focused on jettisoning it entirely from its on-shelf offerings sold in the UK by June 2021.

According to the UK biscuit giant, this will prevent 80 million plastic trays from going to landfill every year.

pladis has also pledged to eliminate the use of all PVDC film, cited by the UK Plastics Pact as a ‘problematic plastic’. To date, the company has removed 35% of PVDC film from its portfolio, with a pledge to reach the 100% target by June.

It says it has upped the use of ‘recycle ready’ monopolymer film, which now represents 64% all packaging film across the business.

Commitment to the UK Plastics Pact

“As part of our commitment to the UK Plastics Pact, we’ve been working hard to transition our rigid plastic trays from black to recyclable cloudy rPET, which contain a minimum of 30% recycled content,”​ said Sylvain Cuperlier, head of Sustainability at pladis.

Cuperlier said the company is actively identifying improvements that can be made across its product range – from reducing non-recyclable packaging to design updates.

“Last year we made some important adjustments to our bestselling McVitie’s Victoria assortment, including downsizing the card outer and incorporating a fully-recyclable cloudy plastic tray,”​ said Cuperlier, noting that swapping out the traditional black tray saved over 60 tonnes of plastic from landfill over the festive period.

Pladis has also reduced the height and board grade on the outer packaging for its Jacob’s Mini Cheddars brand, meaning more boxes can be fitted on the trucks, saving on transportation and reducing CO2​ emissions by 127 tonnes per year. Similar moves have been made to cases that package McVitie’s Nibbles and Flipz products.

The Jacob’s caddies, too, have been given the once over and fully-recyclable versions will roll out in store later this year.

“Our plan to remove black plastic from our entire on-shelf portfolio by summer 2021 illustrates our commitment to making our packaging more sustainable and is one of many great strides we’ve made in this area,”​ said Scott Snell, VP of Customer at pladis.

“We’re pleased to confirm we’re on track to hit our target [to make all its plastic packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025], plus make a real impact long-term.”

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