DS Smith Sets Sights on Removable Plastic

 Breaking News
  • British Brewers Decrease Their CO2 Emissions by 42% Total CO2 emissions from the UK’s brewing industry have fallen by 42% in the last decade (2008 to 2018) – a reduction of 202,952 tonnes – according to new research conducted by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). The research also found that the energy used to brew a pint of beer in the [...]...
  • Small Irish Snack Manufacturer Secures Major Contract With Tesco Pinkfinch, a County Down-based fruit snacks supplier, has secured a major contract with Tesco Ireland, which will see an estimated 100,000 bags sold annually. From launching his business in his parent’s spare bedroom five years ago,  Pinkfinch founder Michael Heaslip (pictured) has grown his innovative product line across Ireland, the UK, Europe, and the Middle East,  with [...]...
  • UK Supermarkets are Struggling to Grow The latest grocery market share figures, published by Kantar, show year-on-year supermarket sales were flat during the 12 weeks to 11 August 2019 as the tough comparisons with 2018’s strong summer continue. The memory of last year still looms large for retailers and this summer’s comparatively poor weather, combined with low levels of like-for-like price [...]...
  • Tickets Still Available For 2019 Irish Food & Drink Business Awards Some tickets are still available for the 2019 Irish Food & Drink Business Awards presentation ceremony and gala dinner to be held at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin on the evening of Thursday, 5 September 2019. The winners of the 2019 Awards will be named at the event. The prestigious awards programme, which was first introduced [...]...
  • Nestlé UK Launches New On-trend Flavours Nestlé has introduced two new on-trend flavours to its much-loved Munchies brand in the UK and Ireland. Available in 101g sharing bags, new Munchies Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Munchies Cookie Dough are the first new Munchies products since 1996. The new flavours were created at Nestlé’s confectionery sites in York and Fawdon, Newcastle. Munchies Brand Manager [...]...

DS Smith Sets Sights on Removable Plastic

DS Smith Sets Sights on Removable Plastic
May 30
08:44 2019
DS Smith, a leading international sustainable packaging company, has released new research which finds that 1.5 million tonnes of plastic could be replaced each year from just five areas within supermarkets across Europe[1]. Its report, ‘Transforming the Supermarket Aisle’, was developed in conjunction with White Space, the leading growth strategy consultancy.It identifies plastic packaging, such as fresh produce punnets and shrink wrap, which supermarkets can replace with alternative, renewable materials. The five categories identified account for over 70 billion individual units of plastic (over 1.5 million tonnes) per year and are highlighted as targets for reduction and replacement by the packaging company.Miles Roberts, CEO of DS Smith, comments: “It is clear that we all have a big job to do, but we can already see through our research some of the potential answers. Our research demonstrates that simple changes in the materials used could make a big difference for retailers, thereby reducing plastic use by millions of tonnes over the next decade. While there is no silver bullet, we know that sustainable fibre-based packaging has a huge role to play, appealing to our customers and consumers alike.”

Paper and cardboard has an 85 per cent rate of recycling across Europe[2] and brings additional benefits for brands like digital printing and customisation. DS Smith has identified the following areas for innovation or substitution in retail:

  1. Plastic display trays: Often overlooked as shoppers don’t take them home, plastic trays on supermarket shelves have fibre alternatives and could be eliminated from the shelves.
  2. Fresh produce punnets: Plastic punnets are commonly used to package fresh produce across Europe and there is a significant opportunity for replacement.
  3. Shrink wrap: Nearly all soft drinks units are shrink wrapped at one stage of their life. As manufacturers consider non-plastic alternatives, corrugate and glue solutions were seen by our panel as ‘next generation’[3].
  4. Ready meals: Packaging needs are more complex in the ready-meal category, but change is on its way as corrugate alternatives are introduced following further innovation.
  5. Meat, fish and cheese: This segment represents a significant opportunity for innovation and replacement, with fibre-based alternatives well positioned.
There is a strong approval rate for cardboard among consumers at 55 per cent, compared to plastics at 7 per cent and polystyrene at 1 per cent in Europe[4]. Meanwhile, with 85 per cent of European consumers willing to pay a 12 per cent premium for sustainably packaged goods, only a third (36 per cent) of Europeans believe brands and retailers are doing enough to introduce more sustainable packaging[5].Miles Roberts adds: “The replacement opportunity is just the tip of the iceberg, particularly when you consider additional sectors such as e-commerce or industrials. More work needs to be done, but we are making a start today by identifying a significant opportunity within the retail sector. We look forward to collaborating with our customers in response.”The 1.5 million tonnes identified is just part of the 20 million tonnes of plastic packaging, which includes retail, consumer goods and e-commerce, produced in Europe each year.[6] While industry is responding with packaging innovation and redesign using eminently recyclable materials, industry and government are important stakeholders in future progress.The report commissioned by DS Smith estimates that the total market for replacement of these items is worth around £5.7 billion per year. The fresh produce punnet category alone is potentially worth over £2 billion per year[7] to the fibre industry.

In addition to industry collaboration, DS Smith is calling on governments to do more. In the UK for example, there are a number of key pieces of upcoming legislation which will impact the sector. Once in place, initiatives such as a Plastics Tax, Extended Producer Responsibility reforms, collection policy and the introduction of deposit return schemes could deliver improved packaging circularity and promote innovation.DS Smith will be hosting an Innovation Think Tank in Brussels in September to support its ongoing drive to tackle the plastic replacement challenge and invites industry leaders and our customers wishing to collaborate to register their interest here.

[1] White Space Analysis

[2]Eurostat ‘Packaging waste by waste management operations and waste flow’ 2016 data

[3] White Space Primary Research

[4] CPI

[5] Procarton, European Consumer Packaging Perceptions Study, October 2018

[6] PlasticsEurope – The Facts 2018

[7] White Space and DS Smith Analysis

About Author



Related Articles

Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • September 11, 2019Packaging Innovations & Luxury Packaging London 2019
  • October 1, 2019PPMA Total Show
  • October 17, 2019Future Food-Tech
  • November 18, 2019Plastics Caps and Closures Conference 2019
AEC v1.0.4

Jobs: Food Packaging

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here