2019 to 2021: Plastic Free Journey
Over the past few weeks we've made some changes to our packaging. And we wanted to share our journey with you.
As a company and brand one of our key values is sustainability. We hate packaging waste which causes pollution and environmental damage. And because we're based in Cornwall we see plastic washed up on beaches daily.
In 2019, when we came up with the idea of making 'treat yourself better' plant-based choccys, the national recycling policy was complicated and inconsistent at best. So we took matters into our own hands and made all our packaging for this new range compostable.
We made it our mission to remove all plastic from our packaging (including our heritage fudge, brittle and honeycomb treats) by the end of 2021. We thought we were smashing our environmental targets and we were on track to achieve 'plastic free' in 2021 until...
May 2021 Government Policy Update
In the last 2 years we recently (excitingly) won contracts to have our products listed in retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury's. These retailers have strict guidelines (in line with Government policy) on the kinds of non-recyclable materials that suppliers can use.
In May 2021 the Government announced that they were investing heavily in recycling infrastructure to ensure that councils across the UK made recycling for households easier. Retailers then updated their guidelines to reflect this and set new targets for this year (2021).
We did some research into our options. A lot has changed in the last 3 years (understatement or what, eh?!). Compostable packaging isn't actually the 'best' all round sustainable option. It clogs up the machines which separate out waste at recycling plants, is single use, and has a heavier carbon footprint than both plastics that can be recycled and plastics that are made from recycled materials. It also emits more methane (84%!) when it decomposes in the wrong environment. Because of this, retailers have asked us to find a solution to remove our compostable packaging and replace with a lower carbon footprint option of recycled & recyclable materials.
From 'Plastic Free' to 'Zero Waste'
We've been working with the supplier management team at Tesco to find alternative options for our packaging. We want to find a solution that is both plastic free and recyclable, and we're really, nearly there. That is our long term goal which we're working towards with our printers and packaging teams.
Until we get there, we might have to use a plastic packaging solution for some of our products. We promise that any plastics we do use will be recyclable at 99% of the UK council's recycling points, and if possible made from recycled materials (there are some technical considerations we have to think about when it comes to using recycled plastics and food packaging though).
Because of this we've changed our packaging position from 'Plastic Free' to 'Zero Waste'. We are using up all our old stock of packaging and you'll see our compostable packets in stores across the UK while stocks last over the next 12 months.
But we can promise right now that any packaging we use will be recyclable, made from recycled materials or reusable.
If you've got any questions drop us a line, we're happy to chat and would love to hear your thoughts.