The last couple of years has seen a real trend in people switching to sustainable packaging in the UK. From small, home-based organisations to major supermarkets, all kinds of businesses have begun to move away from single-use plastics and embraced more environmentally friendly ways to package their food and other goods. If you are yet to join the trend and are maybe a bit confused about what constitutes sustainable packaging, this article explains more about what it is, how it is used and who is championing this greener alternative to plastic.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Sustainable packaging is packaging that helps reduce waste and promotes better use of natural resources. This could be because it has previously been recycled or that it can be recycled or reused in some other way. Other sustainable packaging is made from trees that are replaced by the manufacturer. It might be compostable or biodegradable, or it could be made from natural materials that reduce the need for carbon-intense manufacturing.


Essentially, if packaging is better for the environment than the regular plastics it can be thought of as sustainable. And the reasons for changing the way we create packaging are stark:


  • Plastic packaging in the UK accounts for nearly 70% of our plastic waste
  • Flexible plastics in the UK account for just over 20% of consumer packaging, yet we only recycle 6%


Who is Using Sustainable Packaging in the UK?

Supermarket giant Tesco is one of the latest big names to take a stand and demand that suppliers meet its requirements for sustainable packaging. The company created a colour coded list of types of packaging materials in red, amber and green. It’s own brand products have now completely dispensed with the red list, and it is encouraging external brands that want space on its shelves to do the same in 2022.


Paul Ernshaw, Technical Packaging Manager at Tesco, said “every material we use is either going to be reused or is going to be easily recyclable. We’re going to use recycled materials wherever possible, and we are going to be the most helpful retailer for recycling and reuse.”


Other companies striving to be more environmentally friendly with their packaging include Kelloggs. The cereal maker produces millions of boxes every year. Currently, more than three quarters of the cardboard it uses is recycled. It has pledged to go 100% recycled by 2025.


An increasing number of small businesses have also embraced sustainable packaging in the UK. Food businesses in particular can help the environment by making the switch to sustainable, recyclable, biodegradable or compostable burger trays, food boxes, cups and more., With so much takeaway and outdoor dining packaging being discarded after one use, the switch to items that are kinder to the Earth are a huge step forwards.


Want Sustainable Packaging?

If you want sustainable packaging in the UK for your food business? If so, we have a huge range of products to choose from. From soup bowls and hotdog trays to salad boxes and coffee cups, you can serve your customers with high quality products that won’t break the bank and look after the environment at the same time.