KP launches national snack packaging recycle scheme

A collection of KP packaging with the pellets made out of the packaging waste

Working with recycling firm TerraCycle, the scheme provides the opportunity for people to set up collection points for the bagged snacks around the UK in publicly accessible spaces.

Once a collection point has been registered on TerraCycle’s website, and there isn’t currently a bin near to the location, KP Snacks will send a collection bin to the area. The location must be accessible to any members of the community to recycle their waste, with suggested examples of good locations for the bins being local shops or near to schools.

Once the bin has been set up, all nuts, popcorn, crisps and pretzel packets can be placed there, ready to be sent for recycling by the collection point administrator. This person downloads a free shipping label from Terracycle, who cleans and shreds them into small plastic pellets, which are used to make items such as outdoor furniture, plastic lumber, waste bins or storage boxes.

The recycling firm is encouraging collectors to send as many packets as they can in one go. To incentivise these larger, more sustainable shipments, the scheme offers charity points for deliveries of more than 2 kg in weight or around 600 packets.

KP Snacks chief executive Mark Thorpe said the initiative was one part of its pacKPromise – a three-stage plan to reduce its packaging impact and make all its packaging either recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

“Phase One of KP’s pacKPromise is to use less packaging. We have invested significantly in our Hula Hoops factory and are now using 23% less packaging in our Hula Hoops multipacks. Phase Two is to provide a short-term recycling solution, which we are doing with the launch of this new programme with TerraCycle. Phase Three is for our plastic packaging to be fully recyclable by 2025 as part of our membership of the UK Plastics Pact,” he said.

Other partnerships

The news follows a series of other partnerships that TerraCycle has entered into with multinational consumer brands.

In February, it partnered with bread brand Hovis to make it easier for its fully recyclable plastic bread bags to be correctly disposed of by households. The Bread Bag Recycling Programme was similar to the deal with KP, and saw households either registering as a private collector of bread bags to access free postage labels and post to TerraCycle for recycling, or locating dedicated community collection points in schools or charity hubs.

TerraCycle has also forged new partnerships with Mars Petcare, Colgate Palmolive and Kellogg in recent months, launching schemes targeting pet food packaging, oral healthcare products and Pringles cans.

Recycling consultation

The scheme also comes as the UK Government has launched a consultation on improving household recycling rates. Recycling grew rapidly in England from 11% in 2000 to around 45% in 2013 – but has lagged in the following five years as the country fell behind the other home nations.

The 12-week consultation will invite insight on a number of recommendations that will feature in the Government’s upcoming Environment Bill.

One such idea is a national deposit return system, which sees consumers pay an up-front deposit between 8-22p when purchasing cans or bottles, which is redeemed on the return of the empty drink container. It is hoped that such a system would help boost beverage container recycling from 57% in the UK to upwards of 95% – mirroring successful systems found in Germany and the Netherlands.

The circular economy at edie Live 2019

The circular economy is taking centre stage at the UK’s largest sustainability and energy exhibition this year, with an entire Theatre dedicated to the topic at edie Live on 21-22 May.

The two-day show – edie’s biggest event of the year – has become a highlight of the calendar for sustainability, energy and environment professionals looking for new ideas and solutions that will help them achieve a low-carbon, resource efficient and profitable future for their business.

Register for your free edie Live 2019 pass here.

James Evison

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