6 August 2019

News in brief (06/08/2019)

With news on: Sainsbury’s removes black plastic; Coffee cups used in greetings card range; council thanks residents for recycling; single-use bags slashed after 5p charge. Reporting by Lucy Lewin.

Sainsbury’s to remove black plastic from ready meals

Retail chain Sainsbury’s has announced that it will replace black plastic ready meal trays with an easily recyclable alternative, as it works towards meeting its goal of reducing plastic waste.

CPET plastic trays replacing black plastic in Sainsbury’s packaging

The supermarket is replacing the black pigment material previously used for ready meal trays with natural CPET, a form of recyclable plastic. The change will come into effect in every UK Sainsbury’s, with CPET being be rolled out across all chilled ready meals by November this year.

By implementing this new solution, Sainsbury’s says it will be removing an estimated 1,003 tonnes of hard to recycle plastic each year as it strives towards becoming more sustainable.

Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury’s brand, said: “This is a fantastic development in sustainable packaging innovation and we’re proud to be introducing our new, fully recyclable ready meal trays this week. Our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment is ongoing and the announcement today is an addition to the wider steps we have taken as a business this year.”

In addition, Sainsbury’s recently announced a trial to remove all single use plastic bags from its fruit and vegetable aisles, offering customers reusable drawstring bags for loose produce instead.


Coffee cups used in greetings card range

Paper producer James Cropper has used disposable coffee cups and paper pulp in a card collection designed by Hallmark as part of its ‘CupCycling’ enterprise.

A greetings card from the new collection

CupCycling is the recycling process dedicated to upcycling take-away cups, developed by James Cropper. It has been developed to handle some of the estimated 2.5 billion take-away cups which are thrown away in Britain each year.

The collaboration with Hallmark exhibits the “value of creative partnerships for tackling waste issues effectively”, the company said.

Steve Adams, managing director at James Cropper, said: “Transforming a morning latte into a beautifully-designed and positive sentiment really captures the spirit of CupCycling; a second life for coffee cups can often be more compelling and longer-lasting than its first.”

Alison Murnane, head of brand at Hallmark Cards, commented: “We already make Hallmark cards from responsibly sourced paper, so we were delighted to work with James Cropper to help drive forward another sustainable way to make an impact by taking some of the today’s waste and turning it into a beautiful card that creates a lasting moment for tomorrow.”

The 44 cards and envelopes in the collection will go on sale in October 2019 and are 100% recyclable.


Council employs Roadvert to thank residents for recycling

Outdoor advertiser Roadvert is assisting Brighton and Hove city council in thanking residents for their recycling efforts with a public message that will be driven past their homes on recycling trucks.

Roadvert’s Spedian graphics displaying a message of thanks

Six trucks have been adorned with Roadvert’s quick change Spedian™ vehicle graphics for the campaign. This system makes it easy to change the surface appearance of vehicles in less than an hour without causing damage.

The prominent “thank you” message will be seen by thousands of people as the vehicles make their collection rounds. It will also remind the public that plastic bottles are the only plastic items the council accepts for recycling.

Rachel Chasseaud, assistant director of city environmental management at the council, said: “Turning our recycling vehicles into moving billboards is a great way to get our message about the importance of recycling across.”

Lawrence Craig, chief executive of Roadvert, said: “Many local authorities are now seeing the value of running public information campaigns on the sides of bin lorries and recycling vehicles.

“I think it is fantastic that Brighton and Hove city council is using Spedian graphics to thank their residents. It’s a very public gesture that will have a wide audience.”


Plastic bag-use ‘slashed’ since introduction of 5p charge

New government figures have shown sales of plastic bags by the seven biggest retailers in England have fallen by 90% since the 5p charge was introduced in 2015.

Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative Group, Tesco and Waitrose sold 490 million fewer single-use plastic bags in 2018/19 than the previous year, meaning sales have almost been cut in half.

Defra has reported a drop in the number of plastic carrier bags issued by retailers

According to the UK government, the average person in England now buys just 10 bags a year from major supermarkets, compared with 140 bags in 2014 before the charge was introduced.

Welcoming the figures, Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “Our comprehensive action to slash plastic waste and leave our environment in a better state continues to deliver results, with our 5p charge reducing plastic bag sales by 90% in the big supermarkets.

“No one wants to see the devastating impact plastic waste is having on our precious wildlife. Today’s figures are a powerful demonstration that we are collectively calling time on being a throwaway society.”

It has also been revealed that 5p plastic bag sales have contributed around £169 million toward charities and other good causes since the charge was introduced, with more than £22 million raised in 2018/19 alone.

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