Coca-Cola tethered caps

UK Plastics Pact member case studies

Learn from business leaders transforming our plastics system.

Progress continues at pace towards our targets. What does the picture look like and what can you learn from business leaders?

Target 1 - Eliminating problem plastics 

PepsiCo UK & Ireland: Trialling new multipack packaging.

Advert for Snack a Jacks bag-less multipack

Target area: Target 1 – eliminating problem plastics. 

Innovation: PepsiCo UK & Ireland have trialled new multipack packaging for the Snack A Jacks range. The new ‘bagless’ multipack is made from a tape-like strip which holds together five individual packets of Snack A Jacks. Both the outer tape and individual packs can be recycled at front of store collection points.  

Investment and Impact: Following a £2 million investment in new equipment, packs on shelves in Tesco stores

use 86% less plastic on their outer packaging when compared with the previous multipack design. 

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Morrisons: Removing expanded polystyrene (EPS) from white goods  

Target area: Target 1 – Eliminating problem plastics

Innovation: Morrisons has removed expanded polystyrene (EPS) from all small electrical goods and replaced it with moulded paper pulp.  

Impact: The change has removed 26 tonnes of EPS from the market.  

Further action: Morrisons has introduced an EPS compactor to the Grimsby processing site to recycle EPS salmon boxes, which are imported from Norway, and for which there are no known alternatives. 

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Avery Berkel: Integrated produce recognition technology

Target area: Target 1 – eliminating problem plastics 

Innovation: New Pact member Avery Berkel, provider of retail technology and weighing solutions, has integrated produce recognition technology within its customer self-service scale solution.

Impact: Using Artificial Intelligence, Avery Berkel has enabled retailers to present shoppers with a more user-friendly shopping environment – facilitating the purchase of loose produce for shoppers whilst enabling retailers to broaden their offerings of loose products.

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Morrisons: Providing loose fruit and veg offering for online sales

Bananas without packaging

Target area: Target 1 – Eliminating problem plastics

Trial: With 10% of sales taking place online, Morrisons is exploring how to provide a loose offering for online shoppers.

Barriers to implementation: The biggest barrier is the investment required to introduce weigh scales to the store produce departments, and Morrisons will therefore run a trial in 14 stores, not only to trial loose online, but to understand the additional benefits that weigh scales could deliver through more accurately recording loose waste, being able to mark-down loose produce, and enabling shoppers to weigh their own items, saving time at the checkouts.

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Target 2 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Danone: reducing plastic use and improving recyclability.

Actimel bottle

Target area: Target 2 - 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Innovation: Danone has removed the label from its Actimel concentrated shot to reduce plastic use and improve the recyclability of the bottle. Since August, Danone's new Actimel bottle has been appearing on store shelves. The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) label that surrounds the flexible bottle is gone replaced by a container in which the brand name, vitamins and allergens are embossed directly onto the bottle.

Impact: This will save approximately 135 tonnes of plastic per year.

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Haleon, Colgate-Palmolive, Church & Dwight and Procter & Gamble: Switching 10 billion

Oral B toothpaste tube

toothpaste tubes worldwide to a mono polymer

Target area: Target 2 - 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Innovation: Industry leaders in oral health have set targets to switch over 10 billion toothpaste tubes worldwide into a mono polymer material by 2025.

Impact: Haleon, Colgate-Palmolive, Church & Dwight and Procter & Gamble (P&G), have started the transition and will have produced billions of recycle ready mono-material toothpaste tubes by the end of 2023. If emptied by households, these tubes are ready to be captured, and recycled through kerbside collections.

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Coca-Cola Europacific Partners: Recycling an entire bottle made easy with attached caps

Coca-Cola tethered caps

Target area 2 - 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Innovation and Investment: In May 2022, in partnership with Coca-Cola GB, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners introduced attached caps on plastic bottles, making it easier to recycle the entire bottle and ensure that no cap gets left behind.  To introduce attached caps, they invested more than £7.5 million in their GB manufacturing sites to reconfigure existing lines, with this work due to conclude in 2024.

Impact: The new attached caps are designed to keep all parts of the package together, to make them easier to collect and recycle, helping to prevent litter.

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Abel & Cole: Sustainable refillable milk bottles

Abel & Cole milk refill

Target area: Target 2 - 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.

Innovation: After three years of trials, Abel & Cole has introduced sustainable refillable milk bottles made from 100% polypropylene. The bottles are extensively cleaned and sterilised in an eight-step process using specialist equipment, ensuring that they can be safely refilled and reused.

Impact: The plastic bottle will cut the carbon footprint of single-use milk bottles in half after just four returns compared to heavier glass bottles, which would take over 15 returns to reach similar emissions savings.

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Target 3 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted.

Berry Global: New facility to process food-grade polypropylene 

Berry Circular Polymers

Target area: Target 3 - 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted.

Innovation and Investment: Berry Global has opened a new facility in Leamington Spa to reprocess polypropylene (PP) with approval for use in food-grade applications in the US and an application in process for the UK. Using a proprietary process, this new facility will wash, sort and sift PP to produce food-grade materials,

with a target purity standard of 99.9%, mechanically processing post-consumer PP back into consumer packaging.

Impact: This innovative facility could pave the way for the future of PP packaging recycling using automated

sorting processes, online sensor technologies and machine learning algorithms to separate food grade PP containers, tubs and trays with high accuracy.

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Polytag and Co-op: Better traceability of packaging from consumer to recycler

Co-op Polytag trial

Target area: Target 3 - 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted.

Innovation: Polytag and Co-op have worked together to deliver a project in Wales that involves two types of codes being applied to labels, to provide better insight into the traceability of packaging materials all the way from the consumer to the recycler.

Both tags – a visible QR code, unique to each label, and an invisible UV data matrix – were applied to Co-op’s two-litre spring water bottles, to give the retailer greater awareness of how their packaging is handled and disposed-of by consumers and the Local Authority in Abergele, Wales.

Impact: The traceability trial saw hundreds of plastic bottles being recycled at Abergele within just a few weeks.

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FPF FlexCollect: Trial to recycle plastic bags and wrapping kerbside

Someone holding a bag of plastic wrapping for recycling

Target area: Target 3 - 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted.

Trial:  FPF FlexCollect is a £2.9m project delivered by Ecosurety, RECOUP, Suez and WRAP, and is funded by the UK government and the Flexible Plastic Fund. looking at:

  • how plastic bags and wrapping are best collected at the kerbside;
  • what participation and collection rates are likely to be;
  • the operational implications of collecting the material; and
  • the associated costs to help inform government and the EPR scheme administrator.

What’s next: Collections started in October 2022 and are running until 2025, with the first set of interim data expected at the end of 2023.

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Target 4 30% average recycled content.

Kingsmill: Extending trails of post-consumer recycled content in bread bags

Kingsmill 30% PCR bread bag

Target area: Target 4 - 30% average recycled content

Innovation: In 2021 Kingsmill launched a pilot which incorporated 30% post-consumer recycled content in Kingsmill No Crusts 50/50 bread bags. The aim was to help demonstrate how a circular economy could work for plastic bags through advanced (non-mechanically) recycled plastic. The trial has since been extended and recycled content introduced into a second bag, Kingsmill No Crusts Tasty Wholemeal.

Impact: The equivalent of over 2 million virgin plastic bags has been removed from Kingsmill’s supply chain since August 2021.  

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Faerch and Tesco: Tray-to-tray recycling back food-grade trays

Food-Grade recyclate used for ready meal tray

Target area: Target 4 - 30% average recycled content

Innovation: Faerch in collaboration with Tesco, has launched an initiative which will mean PET pots, tubs and trays collected from kerbside will be recycled and converted back into food grade plastic trays - creating a fully circular packaging solution for the Tesco range of core chilled ready meals.

The ready meal trays already contain up to 75% recycled content, predominantly from cleaner and easier to recycle bottle flake plastic. Through the new initiative, a minimum of 30% recycled tray content will be included in the new packaging.

Impact: The collaboration will ensure that high quality food-grade PET is kept within the supply chain, rather than being downcycled, and demonstrates that PET packaging from trays can be fully recovered and recycled at an industrial scale.

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