Plastic Food Packaging – What You Need To Know

Plastic Food Packaging – What You Need To Know

September 25, 2018 7:05 am Published by

Plastic Food Packaging – What You Need To Know – Wyatt & Ackerman

With so much attention being placed on plastic packaging and our use of non-recyclable materials, it can be difficult to make sense of what’s going to happen to the packaging we’ve gotten used to. From bottles to yoghurt pots, plastic packaging is everywhere. It really is unavoidable, since it does provide a lot of benefits that suit societal needs. Plastic food packaging is easy to produce, very easy to ship and easy to store since it’s so light. It can be moulded very easily, making it ideal for branding.

Plastic Food Packaging

Plastic Food Packaging At A Sorting Facility

The benefits of plastic packaging are quickly being outweighed by the damage it is now causing our environment. Studies have shown the dangerous levels of plastic & microplastic particles in our oceans, poisoning wildlife as well as humans. Virtually every piece of plastic that was made still exists, since the lifespan of plastic stretches for centuries. It takes hundreds of years for plastic to biodegrade, if at all. This is why plastic is such a problem since we don’t have a solution for disposing of plastic. It can’t just be poured into our oceans since we’ve already polluted the majority of it with plastic. This is why there is so much emphasis on changing our ways now since it’s getting past the point of no return.

Who’s helping the change

More than 40 companies in the UK are pledging to start reducing their use of plastic from their shelves. By 2025, a handful of these companies aim to be plastic free. This is one step in a grand plan to reduce overall plastic usage in the UK, in efforts to reduce plastic waste.

What plastics am I using?

For consumers, finding out how much plastic they are using can be difficult since single-use plastic is hard to spot. A lot of plastic packaging that we use now is either non-recyclable or marked as recyclable, even though there aren’t proper processes put in place to actually recycle them. Items made of PVC & polystyrene are particularly problematic since these are the most difficult polymers to break down.

Some examples of unrecyclable plastic packaging are yoghurt pots, ready meal trays and most fruit & vegetable packaging. It takes a second or two to think about how much plastic we’re actually using/disposing of on a day to day basis.

Small steps for change:

The recent move to reduce plastic use by 40+ conglomerates is the first of it’s kind. Other UK companies are expected to follow due to change in legislation as well as societal pressures from consumers. Service providers like Wrap are now monitoring companies making sure that they aren’t excessively using plastic, and making sure they’re keeping to their promises.

Brands like Nestle, Birds Eye, Marks & Spencers & even Mcdonalds are pledging to reduce their use of plastic, as well as eradicating single-use plastics. McDonald’s alone plan on introducing stringent recycling processes in all of their locations from 2025.

Whilst this seems insignificant, it’s a huge step for a company of these sizes to actually take notice. Pressures from consumers as well as the government have really shifted corporate mindsets. It was Blue Planet II that really sparked a public uproar. The programme went on to highlight the damage that plastic is causing to the environment.

Change in the market:

Supermarkets are also in the spotlight as all major brands are being scrutinised for the amount of plastic they use. Measures like selling loose fruit & veg as well as using paper straws.
More & more independent retailers are also allowing customers to bring their own containers to fill up with rice & grains. These may sound like small steps, but collectively they will result in a huge shift in the way we use plastic.

We at Wyatt & Ackerman are encompassing of all types of packaging needs as we want to provide our customers with a comprehensive plastic solution. Whether you’re looking to reduce your plastic usage or just trying to better brand your company, Wyatt & Ackerman can provide a professional packaging solution that is affordable. For more information about Food Packaging UK, give our team a call and speak to one of our advisors!


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This post was written by Sarah Wirth

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