This week Greenpeace shone a spotlight on the UK’s plastic waste exports to Malaysia and Turkey. In 2020 the UK exported some 537,000 tonnes of plastic waste, most of which went to the above countries, who lack the infrastructure to process it.
In other news, Waitrose announced new measures to reduce plastic across its Easter range, while DS Smith and Asda teamed up to remove plastic labels from shelves.
I also had the pleasure of speaking to City to Sea’s Steve Hynd, who oversees campaigns encouraging people to stop plastic pollution at source, about tackling the plastic crisis.
As always, we hope you enjoy reading.
Plastic Free Post
The Plastic Free Post Interview: Steve Hynd
Steve Hynd, City to Sea Policy and Media Manager, on the importance of tackling plastic pollution, how to reduce plastic consumption, and his favourite plastic-free thing in the world.
Read more here.
Increase in UK plastic waste exports to Turkey and Malaysia
Greenpeace reports there has been an enormous increase in the volume of UK plastic waste sent for recycling in Turkey and Malaysia. In 2020 the UK exported 537,000 tonnes of plastic waste. The top three countries for UK waste exports are Turkey, Malaysia and Poland. All three countries have very low recycling rates and a serious problem with plastic waste being dumped or burned illegally.
Waitrose follows other retailers in reducing Easter plastic packaging
Waitrose has announced it will reduce single-use plastic packaging on all of its own brand Easter eggs and confectionery. Thousands of own brand Easter eggs will contain 44 percent less plastic and 18 percent less card, which represents a quarter less packaging overall for the range. The move follows Aldi who announced they had removed plastic packaging from their range last week.
DS Smith cuts Asda plastic footprint with paper shelf label solution
Asda is set to remove one million pieces of plastic from its stores this year after working with DS Smith to discontinue industry standard plastic covers for shelf labels. The move comes after a re-evaluation of in-store price ticket holders on the edge of shelves known as shelf-edge-labels. Instead of using these holders, which are made from PVC, DS Smith successfully tested an alternative using adhesive to cut the plastic out altogether.
Read more here.
TIPA assists Riverford with pivot to compostable packaging
Organic grocery box delivery service Riverford will replace 1.25 million plastic bags each year with home compostable alternatives supplied by TIPA. Riverford found that compostable packaging was the most effective packaging alternative to conventional plastic in terms of fresh food quality. The reported success of this partnership has led to Riverford placing an additional order for over one million compostable bags for the year ahead.
Ecotensil launches new range of plastic-free cutlery
Ecotensil has launched a new range of plastic-free cutlery in the EU and the UK. The move comes in advance of European legislation banning single-use plastic items such as cutlery, plates and straws by July 2021. The paperboard, AquaDot cutlery is similar to the material used to make coffee cups, but without any plastic.
Read more here.