We’re told we are ‘drowning in plastic’, but what are large corporations doing to help?

What has ‘circular’ and science-based targets got to do with the environment?

Global food giant, Kraft Heinz, have taken monumental steps to use packaging that is more sustainable and reduce their carbon footprint. Already this year, Kraft Heinz have reduced the weight of its global packaging by 50,000 tonnes, reaching it’s packaging targets two years earlier than predicted. Now they’re looking to make all of their packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 and the iconic Heinz ketchup bottle completely ‘circular’ by 2022. They are the first to admit that they don’t hold all the answers but are fully invested in future generations and believe this can be achieved through better packaging solutions and recycling rates.

Now, I’m the first to confess, I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘circular’ meant in the real world, so here’s a brief definition, which I hope will assist your understanding. In simple terms, it’s about promoting resources that can be used, recovered and the materials reused again. For Kraft Heinz this may prove tricky with single use condiment packets, multi layered, laminated juice pouches and individually wrapped, single cheeses, but as Kraft Heinz have stated, they intend to ‘aggressively pursue’ alternatives to virgin plastics.

Now, Kraft Heinz are not the only company seeking alternative packaging, So, what’s changed the climate? Well, consumer expectations will be asserting some influence, but the real deal breaker is the Paris Agreement, which has a target of limiting global temperature increases to no more than 2C. Thus, companies like Kraft Heinz have targeted their business to reduce emissions by up to 15%, however, as of 2018 their emissions stand at a 5.2% reduction, with another 9.8% to be achieved in the next two years. Kraft Heinz have realised that supply chain companies were indirectly affecting their emissions and have now included these in their target.

Furthermore, Kraft Heinz have also declared the intention to set an approved science-based target in the next two years. What’s a science-based target, I hear you cry? Well, its a set of business goals to provide a clear route to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but has to be aligned with keeping global warming below 2C from pre-industrial levels. There are currently more than 100 companies  that have committed to science-based targets and the figures are rising.

Now as a consumer I am relieved to discover that global giants in any industry are taking the issue of plastics, emissions and circular materials, seriously. Many people don’t understand the relationship between plastics and fossil fuels or even how that ties in with emissions, but hopefully, these large companies will lead the way with new and innovative packaging, that still looks good, has shelf appeal and is sustainable.

Here at allpack® we offer a select range of services that can support businesses to get on board with battling the plastics issue, with knowledge and expertise. Allow us to review your packaging  processes, streamline your packing area, reduce waste with effective void fill and increase your recycling rates. We have the know-how, so why don’t you book a free, no obligation consultation and pledge to reduce your plastics today.

Source: ‘Kraft Heinz unveils new circular packaging strategy in plastic reduction drive’: 02 August 2018: Edie Newsroom.