Mondelēz joined the UK Plastics Pact at the start of the year, in partnership with the entire value chain alongside business, retailers, recyclers and UK government to tackle the shared problem of plastic waste.
To date its UK sustainable packaging initiatives continue to contribute to the company’s global targets of eliminating 65,000 tonnes of packaging, ensuring clear labelling to help consumers recycle and achieving 100% recyclable packaging.
The report highlights the progress Mondelēz has made on its UK packaging journey through its ‘Pack Light and Pack Right’ programme against the UK Plastic Pact targets;
So far Mondelēz has:
• Reduced the amount of packaging used in Cadbury Dairy Milk large share bags by 15%, whilst maintaining the same amount of treats inside. This move also meant fewer trucks needed to transport the same amount of product, resulting in a 14% reduction in transportation needed.
• In 2019 Mondelēz introduced 75% recycled PET in Dairylea Lunchables. In February this year the company announced plans for Philadelphia to become the first major cream cheese brand to use recycled plastic in the UK and Europe from 2022.
• In Easter 2020 Cadbury launched its ‘Be A Good Egg’ recycling labelling campaign in partnership with OPRL, the UK’s most recognised recycling label, across its entire Cadbury shell egg range. The brand then followed this in the current Christmas range by adding ‘Unwrap A Good Habit’ labelling to its seasonal products.
Mondelēz is grateful to the Pact for acknowledging its efforts, but recognise there is still more to do.
“We’re committed to working towards finding innovative solutions and working in partnership with WRAP and Pact members to tackle the challenge of improving the UK waste and recycling infrastructure.
“Whilst plastic plays a vital role in keeping food safe and fresher for longer and switching away to other materials can risk creating unintended consequences of more food waste, or increased environmental and climate change impact, we know it is not acceptable for any packaging to end up in the environment.
“That’s also why we are working hard to replace all materials that are difficult to recycle. Globally around 94.2% of our packaging is already recyclable, and indeed we are ahead of this figure in Europe, and we are working hard on the rest. This year we have made great progress to eliminate almost all of the black plastic in our UK portfolio and are aiming to have the remainder completed by early 2021. We are also exploring solutions to other challenging materials in the system including PS and PVC.
“But to truly make a difference we need to drive concerted and collaborative action to advance recycling systems that cater to flexible films – as they are not being recycled often enough due to numerous challenges. For end markets flexible films present huge difficulties, collection, sorting and reprocess is harder because of the material’s lightweight nature, there is a lack of adequate policies which aren’t unified or incentivized, this is compounded by the global lack of consumer awareness of how to recycle them.
“Through partnerships such as The Consumer Goods Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we are working together as an industry to invest in the future of collection and recycling of flexible film globally and here in the UK. Longer term – we are working with UK Government to ensure that flexible film is included in kerbside recycling from 2023 when we expect to see a new, harmonised waste collection service across the UK.
“We also know we need to make it easier for consumers to recycle – it’s not enough to design products to be recycled, we need to ensure they get recycled. We believe that putting clearer recycling labelling on our products to support consumers to recycle is another important solution to improving recycling rates. This year we partnered with OPRL – the most recognized labelling system in the UK – to ensure that the nation can recycle their favourite festive products correctly.
“We don’t have all the answers yet to tackle plastics recyclability, what we do know is that it requires unprecedented collaboration across industries, sectors and geographies, as well as between public and private organisations. What we also know, is that in the UK our makers and bakers remain committed to our purpose of snacking made right, in 2021 we look forward to sharing more of our progress to create a future where people and planet thrive.”