Costa and Cranswick reinforce plastic waste efforts

Major coffee chain Costa and food manufacturer Cranswick have become the latest companies to make commitments to slash the amount of plastics used in their operations.

Cranswick, one of Britain’s leading suppliers of premium food, has pledged to use 100% recyclable and sustainable sourced packaging by 2025. The business has also committed to reduce its plastics use by 50% by 2025.

To deliver on these commitments, Cranswick has vowed to design packaging that can be easily recovered through household recycling collections, and to form a new industry stakeholder group to collaborate on developing circularity in the UK.

Cranswick chief executive Adam Couch said: “The environmental impact of plastics, with regards to the damage they cause to the world’s oceans and landfill, has become a major global issue and one that we seek to address as a matter of urgency.

“While we commend the Government for putting this issue on the political agenda through the new 25-year Environmental Plan, we believe as a major UK manufacturer we have a responsibility to help drive systemic change to end global plastic pollution.”

Meanwhile, high street coffee chain Costa has pledged to replace all straws with a non-plastic alternative this year, building on a previous commitment to remove straws from its condiment units.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing waste and increasing recycling, we are removing plastic straws from our stores,” Costa managing director Jason Cotta said.

“We will launch a non-plastic alternative straw this year as part of an on-going review into all our packaging and takeaway cups.”

Mcflurry of pledges

 The war on plastic played a central role in the UK’s 25-year Environment Plan, launched last week. The headline figure was a Government vow to eliminate avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

Since the launch of the plan, various retailers and restaurants have stepped forwards to announce small steps that reduce their reliance on plastic.

Earlier this week, fast food giant McDonald’s set a 2025 commitment to boost the recyclability of its packaging, while Waitrose reaffirmed its packaging commitments that it made in 2017.

These pledges came hot off the heels of Iceland’s commitment to become the world’s first major retailer to remove plastic packaging from its own brand products by 2023.

The world’s largest spirits producer Diageo has committed to phasing out the use of all plastic straws and stirrers from its offices, events, promotions, advertising and marketing globally by 2020.

Elsewhere, Pernod Ricard has decided to stop using non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers in any part of its business. From Earth Day (22 April) this year, Asian restaurant brand Wagamama will switch to a biodegradable paper alternative for its straws.

Meanwhile, supermarket Morrisons told HuffPost UK that it will phase out plastic drinking straws and cotton bud stems and replace them with paper alternatives. Last week, Tesco published an update to its Little Helps plan, which sets out targets to make all packaging fully recyclable or compostable by 2025.

These pledges will likely have ramifications across Europe, after the European Commission announced that all plastic packaging placed on the internal market will have to be reusable or easily recyclable by 2030.

George Ogleby

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