Business in Brief 05/07/21

8 in 10 Brits want food to be wrapped in compostable packaging

New poll of the British public finds more than eight-in-ten would rather their food was wrapped in compostable packaging than in traditional plastic.

The survey also found that more than eight-in-ten British consumers support a plastic packaging tax, while 80 percent want compostable packaging taxed differently from conventional plastic.

The Yonder survey of 2,085 UK adults, commissioned by compostable packaging manufacturer, TIPA, comes amid the Government’s plans to roll out a Plastic Packaging Tax.

Set to launch in April 2022, it will cover plastic packaging containing less than 30 per cent recycled content.

Many campaigners and members of the public have expressed concerns that the proposed tax does not make allowances for compostable packaging solutions, as it is currently treated as traditional polluting plastic.

Last week Baroness Bakewell addressed the House of Lords, calling on the Government to recognise the role of compostable materials in reducing plastic pollution -- a separate and distinct tax treatment for compostable materials is to be considered by peers today.

Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder of A Plastic Planet commented: “When compostables are used as a conduit to take food waste into the food waste and composting system, this is a double whammy win for the environment.

“They help us create more compost for our hungry soils and they help reduce plastic pollution of our soil.”

“What doesn't make sense is for Ministers to persist with policies that fail to recognise the beneficial uses of compostables and treat them in exactly the same way as conventional plastics that do nothing but harm to our soils and our Ocean.”

Staniforth promoted to Director role at Ecosurety

New Innovation and Policy Director role for Robbie Staniforth, who has 13 years of experience in the waste and recycling sector – ten of which have been spent at Ecosurety.

The producer compliance scheme confirms the promotion, as the company seeks to broaden its advisory services ahead of major Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) reform in the UK.

In the past, Staniforth has worked closely with Defra, during the most recent packaging consultations, as well as holding the position of inaugural Chair for the Packaging Scheme Forum since helping set it up in 2018.

Last month he was invited to join the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP).

Commenting on the promotion, Will Ghali, CEO of Ecosurety said: “Not only is Robbie a widely respected figure in the packaging, resource and waste sector, he is also a hugely valued member of the Ecosurety team.

“As the newly appointed Innovation and Policy Director, Robbie will build on his top-level policy insights whilst managing a wide range of innovation projects that can help deliver transformational change in the resource and waste sector.”

Staniforth said: “It has been an exceptionally successful period for Ecosurety and I’m excited to lead plans for further development.

“There are so many opportunities to utilise our expertise to secure better outcomes from producer responsibility.”

“I’m excited to use my passion for genuine, meaningful change to make the UK a much more resource efficient place to live.”

DS Smith appoints new UK Managing Director for recycling

DS Smith has today announced the appointment of Andy Berrisford as its new UK Managing Director for recycling.

Berisford will be responsible for the sustainable packaging company’s recycling operations, joining DS Smith after 13 years with global packaging company Amcor.

Initially joining in 2007, as Finance Director for the Amcor Flexibles site, Berisford then moved into general management roles from 2010, before becoming Commercial Excellence Director Snacks and Confectionery for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

Commenting on the new role, Berrisford said: ‘’I’m delighted to join DS Smith as UK Managing Director for recycling, as I’ve followed and admired the company’s work over several years.

“Having previously worked in the packaging market, I understand the importance of reducing the environmental impact of packaging and have experienced the swift acceleration of e-commerce globally throughout the Covid pandemic.”

“Through becoming a part of DS Smith’s recycling division, I’ll get to work closely with our customers and be at the very heart of the circular economy and our closed loop offering.’’

Rogier Gerritsen, Managing Director, DS Smith Recycling Division, said: “I am excited to have Andy onboard at such a crucial time.

“Our customers are facing new recycling challenges brought about by changes in consumer shopping habits and attitudes towards sustainable packaging as a result of Covid.”

“Andy will really help us focus on improving collection infrastructures so that we can recycle more by collecting the best quality materials.”

Litter analysis shows rise in discarded glass, tin and dog waste

Litter analysis by Cromwell Polythene shows a sharp rise in glass and tin refuse, with 90 per cent surveyed stating that they encounter strewn dog waste.

The company, which supplies products for the capture and containment of materials for recycling, carried out a litter pick and survey on dog waste as part of the analysis.

The company undertook five clear ups around Sherburn, where Cromwell Polythene is based; nearby their CPR Manufacturing site in Alfreton; and by team members working from home.

As well as a jump in bottles and cans, the litter pick also saw a significant increase in discarded PPE compared to their previous pick undertaken last September.

Cromwell found higher levels of fly-tipping in rural and woodland areas -- litter was also recovered in an area where bins were clearly available.

More than 700 items of litter were collected, in 15 bags weighing almost 15kg.

As for the dog waste survey, 90 per cent of respondents stated that they encounter dog waste that hasn’t been disposed of, with 60 per cent of this group stating that they see a large amount of it.

60 per cent think that it is due to laziness or vandalism.

James Lee, managing director of Cromwell Polythene, said: “People are quick to point the finger at plastic pollution, but our findings indicate multiple material types are being discarded.

“None of these materials are to blame – instead, we need to change behaviour to improve the environment on everybody’s doorstep.”