Sustainability that goes beyond packaging
A survey by Statista in August 2021, revealed that 13% of UK respondents would be willing to pay more than 10% extra for sustainable food1 and this is increasingly being demanded by the younger generation in particular. Meanwhile, the upcoming extended producer responsibility legislation (EPR), taking effect from 1 January next year, will tighten the rules on packaging and require compliance from relevant food and drink firms. The big push to reduce plastic, which really began around five years ago, was ramped up two years ago when the Blue Planet II series aired the impact of marine plastic pollution. “Everyone wanted a panacea. They wanted to get rid of plastic, but not reduce shelf-life or have any on-cost or invest in any new kit,” says Elliot Chrisp, materials business unit manager at equipment supplier Multivac UK. “It wasn’t possible… or rather, it could be possible but you had to compromise on one of them.” By nature, recycled materials need to go mono and when a brand has traditionally used two polymers in its packaging, then the transition is not necessarily straightforward – as there was always a reason for those two different types of plastic in the first place, notes Chrisp.