In alignment with Primo’s commitment to sustainability, our Aimia Foods division in the U.K. has made meaningful progress in reducing the amount of packaging in its operations and increasing the use of recycled materials to mitigate our carbon footprint.
In relation to initiatives surrounding packaging, our program includes:
Light weighting techniques – we were among the first companies in the UK to introduce lightweight pouches as an alternative to composites (tins) and jars. In 2019 we sold over 5 million pouches, which was an equivalent packaging weight saving of 145,000 kg when compared to jars. We have also applied light weighting techniques to jars and bottles. Aside from reducing the amount of packaging material used, light weighting techniques reduce C02 used in their production and in their road transport.
Incorporating the use of recycled material Using recycled materials helps to ensure old packaging gets re-claimed, reworked and re-used. This reduces the incidence of materials being sent to landfill or dis-regarded into the environment. Our use of recycled materials is growing rapidly. In January 2019, we completed the changeover from PET to 51% Recycled material PET (RPET) bottles. We are also the first company in our field to move to 30% Recycled material (RHDPE) in all of jars, and PET cups and lids are made with 50% RPET content. All of our packaging trays and outer cases are made using recycled papers while fine grade board (finished cardboard packets) are purchased from British pulp mills certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Increasing the recyclability of packaging We are working expeditiously on industry leading developments in reducing the use of single use plastics and increasing the recyclability of containers, where plastics are required.
We eliminated single use plastic straws in our Shmoo product in January 2019. In May 2019, we introduced a range of products that cut down on plastic packaging: Coffee Beans – sold in a metal tin; Aluminium coffee pods (which contain no plastic at all) and Coffee One Cup Filter bags – again not made with plastic.
We have adopted OPRL1 labelling onto all new pieces of packaging. OPRL is used by 350 brands and retailers, is trusted by 3 out of 4 consumers and is ranked useful by 8 out 10 local authorities. It promotes easier waste separation and recycling by using standardized material and separation instructions on pack
Most (estimated 80% by weight) of our packaging is already fully recyclable:
100% of our jars
100% of our bottles and bottle carry handles
100% of our metal tins / plastic lids for metal tins
100% of our board / cases
In respect of the remaining 20% we are currently working on:
- Plans to move away from triple layer laminated material, which is used in bags, pouches, sticks (sometimes known as metalized polyester or foil). We are testing materials for shelf life and barrier properties to examine the feasibility of moving to mono layer barrier materials, which will make more packaging recyclable.
- Introduce alternatives to composite containers (such as catering format coffee or hot chocolate tins). We are making progress in this field and have identified a possible avenue towards a recyclable composite container, the implications and possibilities of which are being worked through.
Local Sourcing Packaging takes up a lot of space on our roads and it’s transportation to and from factories therefore produces C02 in the form for vehicle emissions. We prefer to use local suppliers where possible. For example:
- Jars – manufactured within 5 miles of our factory
- Tins – manufactured within 20 miles of our factory
- RPET bottles – manufactured on site
- Laminate / film – manufactured within 50 miles of our factory
1On-Pack Recycling Label