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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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

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Kimberly-Clark vows to halve environmental footprint within a decade

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Single-use plastic items have become symbolic of the pandemic

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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

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

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

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

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Image: Steve Morgan at WWF UK

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

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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

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

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

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Beck's brewery, Bremen, Germany

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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

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

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

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

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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

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McDonald's to ditch plastic Happy Meal toys

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

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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

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

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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

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

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The new packaging is recyclable at kerbside and compostable. Image: Heineken UK

Heineken to eliminate shrinkwrap and plastic rings from multipacks sold in the UK

Heineken has today (7 November) announced plans to remove all plastic shrinkwrap and rings from multipacks of beer and cider sold in the UK by the end of 2021.

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

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

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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

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

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Business guide to Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

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Carlsberg used 100% renewable energy to power its 29 breweries in Western Europe for the first time in 2018

Carlsberg slashes emissions by 30% as its closes in on zero-emission breweries

Global brewer Carlsberg has slashed carbon emissions across its group by 13% over a 12-month period, and 30% since 2015, as it pushes towards its corporate strategy to achieve zero emissions at breweries.

Iceland's MD Richard Walker (pictured) says the new formats collectively contain 93% less plastic than current packaging 

Iceland trials swathes of plastic-free packaging for fruit and veg

Iceland is set to trial plastic-free and low-plastic packaging across 38 of its fruit and vegetable lines, in a step towards its ambition for all own-brand lines to be free from single-use plastics by 2023.

Mission Possible: Achieving a net-zero future for the public sector

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Business guide to fleet electrification

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Tesco currently sells 183,000 tin multipacks daily, most of which are housed in plastic shrinkwrap

Tesco teams up with Heinz to scrap plastic packaging on tin multipacks

Tesco has announced plans to scrap all tin multipacks housed in plastic shrinkwrap, in a move that will mitigate the use of 67 million pieces of plastic annually.

Image: Accor

Accor and AB InBev vow to phase-out single-use plastics

Global hotelier Accor has committed to remove all single-use plastics from guest-facing operations by 2022, in the same week that brewer AB InBev's Brazilian subsidiary pledged to end plastic pollution from its packaging by 2025.

The Q&A is available to watch on-demand

Bold targets and lifecycle assessments: Experts outline key drivers to combat single-use plastics

Sustainability experts from Sky, Surfdome and Nestlé have outlined how bold aspirations that target problematic plastics through the broader view of climate change can help spur the private sector towards a circular economy.

LRS was one of the first business signatories of WRAP's UK Plastics Pact and, since joining, has redesigned several packaging formats and labels across its brands

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Businesses not examining carbon impact of plastics alternatives, edie survey finds

An edie survey of almost 300 sustainability and resource professionals has found that almost 50% of businesses haven't examined the carbon impact of single-use plastics alternatives, amidst growing calls for businesses to intertwine actions on plastics and climate change.

FMCG giant Henkel owns some of Europe's most recognisable brands, including Schwarzkopf and Persil. In 2018, 51% of its packaging portfolio by weight was plastic. 

Inside Henkel's plastics packaging strategy

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This episode formed part of edie's Plastics Week

Sustainable Business Covered podcast: edie and Nestlé's plastics deep dive

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Single-use plastics: The 2020 roadmap for sustainable business

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Nestlé will use the investment commitment to spur the market for food-grade recycled plastics. Image Neste, Flickr

Nestlé commits £1.6bn to food-grade recycled plastics, pledges to cut virgin plastics use by a third

Food and beverage giant Nestlé has committed £1.59bn to source food-grade recycled plastics to be used in its packaging, alongside a pledge to cut the amount of virgin plastics it sources by a third.

A Plastic Planet campaigns against what it calls the “misuse” of plastic by industries such as food & drink and health & beauty 

A Plastic Planet: It's time for activism on climate change and plastics to collide

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The report is inspired by edie’s award-winning Mission Possible campaign and spin-off Mission Possible Plastics Hub

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Little Freddie's pouch recycling scheme, like many others for consumer goods in the UK, experienced rapid uptake during 2019

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Colgate has confirmed that the toothpaste has been certified to EcoCert and Forest Stewardship Council standards

Colgate launches recyclable plastic toothpaste tube

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edie looks at the trials and projects that have proved successful in combatting plastics waste

Naked products and take-back schemes: How are businesses designing their way out of single-use plastics?

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Servitisation and social media storytelling: How retailers are approaching sustainability in 2020

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The report notes that interviewees felt that not all changes to remove or replace single-use plastics had been considered through the lens of additional environmental impacts

Plastics packaging phase-outs leading to environmental consequences, report warns

A new report from the Green Alliance has shown the companies are under "considerable and justified pressure" to move away from single-use plastics, often at the expense of carbon impacts and recyclability of alternative materials.

Alternatives have been found for items such as cutlery and cups. Image: Hi Fly

Hi Fly goes plastic-free on all flights

Portuguese wet-lease airline Hi Fly has removed all single-use plastic items from its fleet of aircraft, after successful pilots of plastic-free flights in 2018.

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kroger_-_Norfolk,_VA_(23655411468).jpg

Kroger revamps action plan to eliminate food waste by 2025

US retail giant Kroger has unveiled new steps to eliminate food waste across its company by 2025 by prioritising food donations and technological innovations to drive action through a Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative.

Image: The Co-op 

Co-op targets 100% recyclable packaging by summer 2020

The Co-op has moved the deadline for ensuring that 100% of the packaging on its own-brand lines is easy-to-recycle forward from 2023 to summer 2020.

Pact members range from manufacturers to brands and retailers and waste management firms

UK Plastics Pact 'set to eliminate one billion unnecessary single-use items'

Business signatories to WRAP's UK Plastics Pact are set to distribute one billion fewer pieces of "problematic" and unnecessary single-use plastic in 2020 than they did in 2018.

Black plastic is often not recycled in traditional infrastructure, as its carbon pigment makes it hard to detect. Image: Asda

Asda switches to plastic-free steak trays

Asda is removing hard-to-recycle black plastic trays from some of its best-selling meat lines, replacing them with recyclable cardboard alternatives.

ASOS is one of the world's largest online fashion retailers and saw a 13% year-on-year increase in sales in 2019. Image: ASOS

ASOS to trial reusable packaging in drive to cut plastics waste

Online fashion retailer ASOS is set to trial reusable packaging in early 2020, after months of work to develop an alternative to single-use plastic mailing bags.

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Mars’s circular packaging plan includes a goal for 100% of its plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, while Nestlé is part of the UK Plastics Pact pledge

Mars and Nestle spearhead chemicals recycling scheme for plastics

Mars and Nestlé have teamed up with packaging solutions firm Citeo, energy giant Total and recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies to develop an industrial chemical recycling process for plastic packaging in France.

Dubai Airport is the world's busiest international airport, with 90 million passengers annually

Food-to-go giants support Dubai Airport's ban on single-use plastics

A string of big-name food-to-go brands including McDonalds, Costa Coffee and Pret A Manger have unveiled plastic-free offerings to be piloted at Dubai Airport next month, as part of the airport's commitment to eliminate single-use plastics.

Nestle has said it would have liked to have moved sooner, but wanted to fully address challenges maintaining recyclability and high-quality food-grade status 

Nestle to use 100% recycled plastics in Buxton water bottles

Food and drink giant Nestle has revealed plans to make all plastics packaging across its Buxton water brand with 100% recycled content by 2021.

Iceland is working closely with its 100+ own label suppliers on the pledge, through regular working groups

Iceland calls for supplier support to reach plastics phase-out target

Iceland has sent letters to all of its suppliers, calling on them to support the retailer in eliminating plastics packaging from its own-label products by the end of 2023.

Seven out of the top 10 supermarkets increased their plastic footprint year-on-year

'Bags for life' making plastic problem worse, say campaigners

Plastic "bags for life" should be banned or raised in price, campaigners say, as new figures reveal a surge in the bags is fuelling a rise in the plastic packaging footprint of leading supermarkets.

The report authors are urging Ministers to speed up the introduction of new waste and resources legislation around carpets. Image: Reuse Warehouse/ CC BY 2.0 

Report: Carpet experiencing lower UK recycling and reuse rates than plastics

Green campaign groups are calling on the UK Government to implement stronger circular economy requirements around carpets, after research concluded that just 2% of the 130,000 tonnes sent to the industry's recycling body annually are recycled.

The move comes after the introduction of non-bleached paper bags at checkouts (pictured). Image: Boots UK

Boots introduces compostable pharmacy bags after plastics backlash

Boots is switching its plastic pharmacy bags to compostable alternatives made using potato starch, after customers began returning plastic bags and voicing their anger on social media this summer.

The plastic-free range (pictured) is designed to help shoppers create a three-course meal. Image: Iceland

Iceland slashes plastics packaging across Christmas range by 97%

Iceland has claimed that its Christmas range of food and drinks for 2019, which includes 18 plastic-free lines, contains 97% less plastic than its 2017 range.

The media giant's content reaches more than 390 million people each month. Image: Conde Nast

Vogue publisher vows to phase-out plastics and align with Paris Agreement

Condé Nast, the publishing house behind titles such as Vogue, Glamour and GQ, has committed to removing non-recyclable plastics from its products and reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis join the more than 400 organisations that have signed up to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

Nestlé, Walmart and Borealis sign up to Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global plastics commitment

The world's largest food company, Nestlé, and the world's largest retailer, Walmart, have joined chemicals company Borealis in becoming Core Partners to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's New Plastics Economy.

Premier Inn looks set to reduce the equivalent of another 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools of plastic just by removing the plastic wrapping from staff uniform

Whitbread to remove 'unnecessary' single-use plastics from premises by 2025

Hospitality firm Whitbread has pledged to rid all 800 of its UK hotels and restaurants of unnecessary single-use plastics by 2025, and has called on other UK firms to do the same.

In September, CCEP announced it will end the use of shrink-wrapped plastics across all can multipacks it sells in Great Britain

Coca-Cola to replace plastic shrink wrap with paper packaging across Europe

Coca-Cola and its European bottling partners will remove shrink wrap from its can multipacks, to be replaced with a €15m (£12.8m) investment into a paper-based packaging solution by the end of 2021.

Pictured: Absolut’s director of sustainable performance Tina Robertsson at the company's only distillery, which has been certified as carbon-neutral since 2013. 

From case-study to company-wide vision: How Absolut is expanding its carbon neutrality ambitions

EXCLUSIVE: Back in 2013, The Absolut Company achieved carbon-neutral certification for its distillery in the Swedish village of Ahus. With its sights now set on company-wide carbon neutrality by 2030, how will the company turn this case study into an overarching vision?

Each of these success stories highlights how businesses and governments across the world are ramping up ambitions and actions across all areas of sustainable development

The Mirror's climate issue and Shanghai's 'city of trees': 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.

Boots cited the impact of shows like Blue Planet in driving more awareness on single-use plastics. Image: Boots

Boots removes 149 tonnes of plastics from Christmas gift range

Boots will use 149 tonnes less plastic packaging to house its range of Christmas gifts this year than it did in 2018.

The new packaging purports to be widely recyclable and to contain recycled content. Image: Morrisons 

Morrisons eliminates black plastics packaging

Morrisons has claimed it has completely removed hard-to-recycle black plastics from its own-brand ranges.

Kenny spoke on the need to balance consumer demands with scientific environmental considerations

Progress over perfection: Can McDonald's design its way out of single-use plastics?

McDonald's vice president of global sustainability Keith Kenny has claimed that the consumer-facing business needs to couple lifecycle analysis of its packaging with consumer demands in order to phase-out plastics in a secure way and without impacting customer experience.

The lidless McFlurrys feature foldable paper-based flaps on the existing packaging which create a new lid

McDonald's ditches plastic McFlurry and drinks lids across Europe

McDonald's has announced a range of new trials and pilots to remove single-use plastics and improve recyclability, including the removal of plastic McFlurry lids across Europe, the introduction of renewable fibre lids in France and a toy take-back scheme in the UK.