Packaging Recovery Notes

DEFINITION: Producer Responsibility Obligations create a legal obligation for packaging producers to ensure that a proportion of their marketed products are recovered and recycled. Businesses can show evidence of their compliance by purchasing Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs).

For the UK, this cost is around €20/tonne, but other European nations have an average for producer responsibility at around €150/tonne.

See also: Producer responsibility

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Iceland has today published its own plastic footprint, which totals 32,000 tonnes across its UK and international operations

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MPs are concerned that bricks-and-mortar retailers are held to different requirements than online marketplaces

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The company spent 18 months evaluating more than 60 formulas to find a solution with a low environmental impact

Garnier launches shampoo bars with reduced environmental impact

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The report describes the food-to-go sector as "sandwiched between" Covid-19 and the war on plastics

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The new packaging format will reach stores in January 2021

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Absolut’s scope 1 and 2 emissions for the last financial year were 847 tonnes of CO2e

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Big businesses are opting for paper-based or lightweight packaging over reusables, the report reveals

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The bottles will be available to customers by 2024. Image: L'Oreal

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The initiative was meant to launch in March but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic

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Unilever is aiming to use at least 25% PCR by 2025 and expects to double the amount it uses over the next 12 months

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Products from small, independent businesses will be listed, as well as products from corporate giants like Unilever 

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The recycling scheme started in the US and has been successful so far

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Burger King teams up with TerraCycle for reusable packaging pilot

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Switches already made at Iceland stores include cardboard packaging for frozen lines like pies and desserts; paper shopping bags, instead of plastic bags-for-life; and loose vegetables and fruit instead of pre-bagged multipacks

Iceland trials plastic-free bread and potato packaging as Subway debuts cardboard salad boxes

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Pictured: Bacardi Rum products housed in the new material

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Britvic owns some of the UK's most recognisable soft drinks brands

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Pictured: Some of the name-brand refill stations. Image: Asda

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PepsiCo is often the target of plastics campaign groups and has spent a large portion of the bond fund trying to change its approach to PET

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Boots’ recycling partner ReWorked will collect the items to be refashioned into new products

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Each business is a member of two or more organisations which lobbied against stricter legislation in the past two years, the report claims

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McDonald's joins TerraCycle's Loop programme to trial reusable cups

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If the trials in the South East prove successful, a national rollout will commence early next year. Image: Co-op

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AIM, the European Brands Association, has gathered more than 85 companies to join the HolyGrail 2.0 project 

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The prototypes have been formed as part of an innovative group of businesses working towards eliminating the use of plastics for certain containers

Absolut to trial 2,000 paper-based drinks bottles

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 The move supports Coca-Cola’s ambition in Western Europe to use 100% rPET and eliminate the use of virgin-based plastics within the next decade 

Coca-Cola switches to 100% recycled plastics across Netherlands and Norway

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rial, Magnum will roll out the tubs across Europe by the end of the year and globally from 2021

Magnum to roll out recycled plastic ice cream tubs globally

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The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which found that an all-in system would generate £2bn over a 10-year period

MPs outline support for 'all-in' deposit return system

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Tearfund argues that “most of the companies focus on recycling, rather than reduction, as the way to address the problem”

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Starbucks introduced strawless lids on select beverages, in a move that is set to save 40 million plastics straws from being used across the EMEA market

Starbucks reintroduces reusable cups to stores

Starbucks has stopped a temporary ban on reusable cups in stores that was introduced at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Recycling levels have languished in England for several years and the country is currently not on track to achieve its recycling target of 50% by 2020

UK targets 65% municipal waste recycling rates under EU's circular economy package

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Information on how to use the scheme will be provided online and on-pack. Image: TerraCycle

Cathedral City launches UK-wide recycling scheme for cheese packaging

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Flexible plastics account for a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging by weight, but just 4% is recycled

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Diageo has launched a new partnership with venture management firm Pilot Lite to launch Pulpex Limited, the company behind the sustainable packaging technology

Diageo unveils 'world's first' plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle

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Aldi UK & Ireland had previously set an ambition to use 25% less plastic packaging by volume by 2023

Aldi to halve plastic packaging use in the UK by 2025

Aldi UK and Ireland has pledged to halve the volume of plastic packaging it uses annually by 2025.

The new strategy purports to be aligned with the IPCC's recommendations on nature and climate. Image: Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark vows to halve environmental footprint within a decade

Personal care giant Kimberly-Clark has pledged to halve its global environmental footprint by 2030, under a new sustainability strategy covering issues such as emissions, forestry, water and plastics.

Single-use plastic items have become symbolic of the pandemic

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Kleenex debuts plastic-free tissue boxes as Mr Muscle unveils 100% 'ocean-bound' plastic bottle

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Quorn has been enrolled into the club’s “Reds Go Green” sustainability initiative

Food of champions: Liverpool FC announces Quorn as 'sustainable protein partner'

In the build-up to securing their first Premier League title in 30 years, Liverpool Football Club confirmed a new partnership with Quorn to promote sustainable food sources.

The new goal builds on HP's updated recycled plastic ambition, unveiled last summer

HP to cut plastic packaging use by 75% by 2025

Printing and electronics giant HP has committed to using 75% fewer pieces of single-use plastic packaging in 2025 than it did in 2018, as it revealed that its sustainable products and services generated more than $1.6bn (£1.27bn) in sales last year.

Pictured: Plastic pollution in Long Beach, California. Image: As You Sow

Report: Big-name brands failing to address plastic pollution crisis, despite improved pledges

A survey of 50 of the largest consumer-facing goods firms, including PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz and Kellogg, has found that companies are generally failing to take ambitious action on plastic pollution, despite lofty pledges to do so.

Solar panel installation, Tetra Pak site. Image: Tetra Pak

Tetra Pak targets net-zero value chain by 2050

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Image: Steve Morgan at WWF UK

WWF: Major consumer goods giants only sourcing 8% recycled plastics

McDonald's, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Keurig Dr Pepper and Procter & Gamble (P&G) collectively source 4.3 million metric tonnes of plastic annually, of which just 8% comes from recycled feedstocks.

When savings from transport and material type are accounted for, Signify estimates that around 6,000 tonnes of carbon emissions will be avoided annually. Image: Signify

Signify commits to plastic-free packaging by 2021

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Currently, all Andrex toilet tissue and dry packaging are 100% recyclable

Andrex to use 30% recycled content in plastic packaging

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Beck's brewery, Bremen, Germany

AB InBev launches sustainable supplier platform

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More than one million plastic-free PPE visors will be produced each week

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Water UK's 'Fine to Flush' certification symbolises that flushing them won't contribute to damage to UK sewers

Aldi toilet wipes certified as 'fine to flush' by Water UK

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Princes states that export PRNs (PERNs) are less transparent, due to a limited ability to ensure compliance outside of the UK

Princes commits to no export waste

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Since 2010, UPS has offset more than 60 million parcels a year for customers

UPS offers month-long carbon offset incentive for deliveries

Logistics firm UPS will offer the option to pay towards the offset of carbon emissions of shipped parcel deliveries throughout the month of June, to mark World Environment Day this Friday (5 June).

The best-practice steps are designed to promote reusable cups in a safe manner

Coffee shops sign up to post-lockdown reusable cup platform

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Zalando’s online platform caters to 28 million customers in 17 markets

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Conde Nast has also launched a new Sustainable Fashion Glossary, which will act as a new resource to help outline the fashion industry’s role in combatting the climate emergency

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The two companies believe that up to 30,000 tonnes of currently non-recyclable plastic could be treated annually

Viridor signs agreement on UK plastics chemical recycling initiative

Waste management firm Viridor has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with chemical recycling company Plastic Energy to explore a system that treats non-recycled plastic waste using low-carbon electricity to create recycled plastic feedstocks.

The strategy is focused on water stewardship, zero-waste manufacturing and powering operations and facilities with renewables

Intel targets net-positive water use and world's 'most sustainable' PC

IT manufacturer Intel has unveiled new sustainability targets for 2030, committing to achieving net-positive water use, being powered by 100% renewables and launching the "most sustainable and energy-efficient PC in the world".

Pernod Ricard has shared guidelines with its 90 affiliates specifying which materials can no longer be used and how they can be replaced

Pernod Ricard moves single-use plastics phase-out forward to 2021

Beverage giant Pernod Ricard has moved a target to end the use of single-use plastic point-of-sale (POS) items forward four years, pledging to reach the ambition by 2021.

Campaign groups have been calling on businesses and governments to support a shift to plastic-free menstrual products

Superdrug ditches plastic from own-brand tampons

Superdrug has announced that it has removed plastics from its own-brand tampons and launched a new range of menstrual products made from organic and sustainably certified materials.

Dunkin' has set a new goal of opening its 1,000th green restaurant by the end of 2025

Dunkin' switches to plastic-free cups and plans to double number of green restaurants

US coffeehouse Dunkin' has confirmed that it has completed the replacement of all polystyrene foam cups to paper alternatives while also committing to double the number of energy efficient restaurants it owns in the next five years.

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The report said Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s commitments were falling significantly short of what was needed

Coca-Cola and Pepsi falling short on pledges over plastic - report

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are not doing enough to reduce their plastic waste footprint globally, according to a report.

Green groups don't believe the current circumstances warrant a delay

Ban on plastic straws in England pushed back to October 2020

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has pushed back the ban on plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds set to come into force later this month to October 2020, to the dismay of campaigners.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown Europe into “a completely different world where hygiene and consumer health will be the number one priority,”

EU dismisses industry calls to lift ban on single-use plastics

Deadlines have to be respected, says the European Commission in response to calls by industry to lift an EU-wide ban on some single-use plastic items because of health and hygiene concerns raised during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last year, PepsiCo, Nestle Waters and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe all joined the consortium for a four-year term

Scientists report huge upswing in efficiency for enzyme-based plastic recycling solution

A breakthrough recycling method that using a novel enzyme to breakdown plastics and is backed by a consortium of global businesses including Lucozade Ribena Suntory and PepsiCo is a step closer to commercialisation following improvements to the breakdown process.

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Currently, 93% of the company’s packaging, both plastic and non-plastic, are recyclable

Mondelez signs up to UK Plastics Pact and Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Global Commitment

Global chocolate producer Mondelēz International, which owns brands including Cadbury and Dairy Milk has signed up to two major initiatives to tackle plastics waste in the UK and globally.

Surfdome found that the polybags only account for 5% of a garment’s overall carbon footprint. Image: Surfdome

Patagonia and Surfdome trial removal of plastic polybags for clothes

Online sports retailer Surfdome has partnered with outdoor clothing firm Patagonia to trial the removal of plastic polybags from clothes orders in a way that doesn't impact product quality or generate an increase in lifecycle carbon emissions.

The moves will reduce McDonald's' annual plastics use by 3,000 metric tonnes

McDonald's to ditch plastic Happy Meal toys

McDonald's UK and Ireland will remove plastic toys from its Happy Meals in 2021, after customers campaigned for plastic-free alternatives.

Giles Hurley (pictured) sent the frank letter to all major third-party suppliers. Image: Aldi UK

Aldi boss: We'll delist brands that don't act on plastics packaging

Aldi UK's chief executive Giles Hurley has written to suppliers of third-party brands, warning that they will be delisted unless they align with the supermarket's 2025 plastics packaging commitments.

Iceland's MD Richard Walker (pictured) introduced the 100% plastic-free pledge in 2018 and has been a vocal advocate since. Image: Iceland

Iceland slashes plastics packaging by almost one-third in two years

Iceland has posted an update to its commitment to remove all plastics from own-label product packaging by 2023, revealing that it now uses 29% less plastics in these applications than it did in 2018.

The Budget outlined numerous focus areas for the Government's net-zero approach 

Clean transport, CCS and biodiversity championed in Budget 2020

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LRS, along with Just Eat and Selfridges, has been a long-term corporate backer of the innovative packaging. Image: LRS 

Lucozade Ribena Suntory gets go-ahead for edible seaweed sachets in gym vending machines

Following a successful pilot at races in 2018, Lucozade Ribena Suntory (LRS) is trialling drinks housed in plastic-free, edible seaweed-based sachets in vending machines in gyms.

All materials used for packaging consumed in the UK account for 1.7% of the country’s total emissions 

Lifecycle approach required: Government's plastics policies could triple UK packaging emissions

The UK Government's ban on unnecessary single-use plastics could inadvertently triple the carbon emissions associated with packaging, unless policies are introduced to prioritise an "overall need to use less material" and to improve the energy efficiency associated with material production and recycling.

Earlier this year, Nestlé committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging

Nestlé signs up to European Plastics Pact to push for 100% recyclable or reusable packaging

Food and beverage giant Nestlé has announced that its European business is following in the footsteps of its UK operations by signing up to the European Plastics Pact to help achieve its goals of ensuring packaging is 100% reusable or recyclable by 2025.

Danone Waters UK is also working to achieve B Corp accreditation by the end of 2020

Danone Waters closes in on 100% recycled plastic and carbon-neutral goals in the UK

Danone has announced that Evian bottles will be made using 100% recycled plastics in the UK, while also achieving carbon neutrality in the UK for Evian and Volvic brands.

The guidelines can enable businesses to locate leakage hotspots and identify and remedy factors that are causing plastics pollution across the value chain

Plastic Leak Project launched to measure plastic pollution across corporate value chains

A new science-based metric has been produced by a range of public, private and scientific stakeholders that will enable businesses to conduct plastic leakage assessments to identify hotspot areas to combat the amount of plastic seeping into the natural environment.

The Fine to Flush Certification is designed to assess if products can be flushed without any detriment to the operation of the sewer system

Andrex wet wipes certified as 'fine to flush' by Water UK

British toiletries brand Andrex has today (27 February) announced that its washlet wipes range has achieved Water UK's 'Fine to Flush' certification, which symbolises that flushing them won't contribute to damage to UK sewers.

Lidl GB has pledged that all own-brand plastics packaging will include a minimum of 50% recycled content by 2025

Lidl to use 'ocean-bound' plastics in seafood packaging

Lidl will begin incorporating "ocean-bound" plastics in packaging used to house 13 of its seafood lines next month, in what it claims is a first for a UK supermarket.

The trials will explore how easy it is for baristas and customers to use the collection and drop off systems and how well the recovery of items is delivered

McDonald's and Starbucks back 'smart' reusable cup trials in California

The cities of San Francisco and Palo Alto are set to trial "smart" reusable cup systems developed with support from McDonald's and Starbucks, in a bid to reduce the amount of single-use coffee cups that are being sent to landfill.

Image: Viridor 

P&G signs deal for 200 million bottles' worth of recycled plastic

Procter & Gamble (P&G) has signed a deal to source 200 million bottles' worth of recycled plastic over the next five years, as it strives to halve the amount of virgin plastics it uses by 2030.

Each of these success stories exemplifies how businesses are ramping up ambitions and actions in all areas of sustainable development 

RBS's climate goals and Aldi's plastic bag crackdown: The sustainability success stories of the week

As part of our Mission Possible campaign, edie brings you this weekly round-up of five of the best sustainability success stories of the week from across the globe.

Business guide to Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Almost a year since it was introduced, this business guide to Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR), provides energy and sustainability professionals with everything they need to know about the legislation and how to comply.