Are Supermarkets Fulfilling the Pledge to Cut Plastic Packaging?
As a supplier, are you still wrapping your goods in plastic packaging? As a retailer, are you taking action to encourage your suppliers to cut out excessive plastic use?
Many shoppers, independent shops and small-scale producers are making a conscious effort to reduce plastic use and plastic waste. Quick to respond to consumer demand and environmental awareness, processes and thinking have been adapted in order to reduce our impact.
What about the supermarkets? We’ve heard plenty of bold claims about reducing plastic packaging, but it still seems to be incredibly difficult to avoid plastic when buying your weekly shop. In a report produced by the Environmental Investigation Agency and Greenpeace, it seems that there is still a long way to go for most of the big supermarkets.
Refillable Packaging Options
‘Breakthroughs and Backtracking from Supermarkets’ discovered that both Waitrose and Morrisons were leading the way in attempts to cut plastic packaging. As one measure, both of these retailers were introducing refillable stations and encouraging customers to bring reusable packaging from home. Morrisons is introducing a 10% discount on refilled products to encourage customers to change habits.
Other action includes removing excess plastic packaging from their own ranges. In some products, this has involved replacing plastic with corrugated cardboard. Morrisons, who have retained their second position in the rank for two years, is the only supermarket to set a target on increasing reusable and refillable packaging options.
Increasing Plastic Packaging Waste
Whilst these two supermarkets lead the way in good practice, many of their competitors lag behind. The report found that since making public pledges to reduce plastic, many have actually increased the volume of plastic waste they have generated. If shoppers plan to go plastic-free, they have little chance of filling their trolley in Lidl, Asda and Aldi.
Supermarkets and other big retailers are in a strong position to encourage good practice. They have the power to persuade suppliers to remove, or at least reduce plastic use. They can stock food and drink that is supplied in tins, glass and cardboard packaging. They can offer paper bags or wax paper at the in-store deli. They could provide a wide range of refill options. They could make a difference.
Is Cardboard Packaging Viable?
As a supplier keen to turn things around, you may be exploring the options. As specialists in cardboard packaging, Aylesbury Box Company can advise on the suitability of our boxes for your products.
In the case of fruit, vegetables and flowers, scientific evidence has proved that corrugated cardboard is ideal for keeping these consumables fresh and safe to eat for longer. Both robust and flexible, sustainable corrugated cardboard cartons are effective in protect fresh goods in transit.
As a packaging manufacturer, we produce bespoke corrugated boxes for fragile items such as glass baubles and light fittings. At the other end of the spectrum, our boxes are used to safely transport large equipment and bulky motorcycle wheels. It isn’t an ideal packaging solution for all items, but it fits the bill for an extensive range of goods.
You may already be using cardboard boxes for deliveries, but using bubble wrap, plastic air pockets or polystyrene shapes as fillers. This is one change that any supplier can make. We can advise on a range of non-plastic alternatives. Have you considered cardboard inserts that enhance presentation, or WoolCool, a sustainable insulating lining? We also provide branded tissue paper and shredded cardboard fillers.
In short, if you have made a pledge to reduce plastic, get in touch with our friendly team on 01296 436888. We are happy to discuss your requirements and recommend ways to reduce or replace plastic with sustainable corrugated cardboard packaging.