International food and drink group Princes is once again increasing the recycled content of the plastic it uses, as the shrink wrap packaging on its UK manufactured products moves to 50 percent post-consumer recycled waste (PCRW).
Princes household brands such as Crosse & Blackwell, Branston baked beans*, Aqua Pura, Jucee, and all own label it supplies will implement the 50 percent PCRW shrink by the end of 2019. With half of the PCRW material coming from UK sources Princes estimates that across the several hundred products it manufactures each year, this could help reduce the plastic sent to landfill across the UK by up to 1,000 tonnes.
It is estimated that some 1.2 million tonnes of plastic film from packaging arises in the UK waste stream every year. Of this, around two thirds are post-consumer (i.e. from household) and one third from commercial, industrial and agricultural sources.
David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director at Princes, said: “In recent years, we have made huge progress increasing the recycled content of the plastic we use and this is a further milestone for us. Collation of shrink film around cases and on multipacks represents the second largest use of plastic in our UK manufacturing operations by weight so it’s a significant step.
“Following on from our recent announcements on 51 percent recycled PET in our soft drinks and oils and 30 percent HDPE in chilled juice drinks, we have a strong position on recycled content as a business. Our ultimate goal is to reach the maximum possible recycled content for all the plastics we use as soon as we possibly can and preferably with UK material.
“We hope this helps stimulate an increase in the feed stock of plastics to the UK recycling industry as collections improve, consumers recycle more and technology advances. This is fundamental to ensuring a circular economy is achievable for plastic in the UK.”
Polyethylene waste is collected from UK supermarkets, which is then washed, shredded and re-pelletized for extrusion into new material. The film maintains film thickness, with no compromise to packing speed and pack integrity.
Princes is also committed to ongoing packaging reduction projects to reduce the weight of plastics. Over 35 projects have been completed in the last ten years that have removed 5,000 tonnes of plastics.