Danone, Ella's Kitchen and TerraCycle launch UK-wide recycling scheme for food pouches

Baby food brand Ella's Kitchen will partner with Danone Yoghurt and TerraCycle to launch a UK recycling programme for flexible food pouch packaging, in a bid to reduce the volume of material being sent to landfill.

The three companies are inviting other food brands to become sponsors of the initiative. Image: Ella's Kitchen

The three companies are inviting other food brands to become sponsors of the initiative. Image: Ella's Kitchen

The Kids Food Pouch Recycling Programme will launch in November and will see around 500 public drop-off points for food pouches set up across the UK. The drop off points will be run by local community “recycling champions” and will give the public a space to ensure that food pouch packaging is recycled.

The three companies are inviting other food brands to become sponsors of the initiative. For each brand that signs up, they would take responsibility for 100 drop-off points. The overall ambition is to have all brands that produce food pouches enrolled in the scheme to collaboratively ensure that packaging is recycled.

Danone’s regional VP of Essential Dairy and Plant-Based, Adam Grant said: “As certified B Corps, its important we work together to use business as a force for good, in this case leveraging our collective strength to support recycling systems in the UK.

“I encourage other B Corps and food brands to join us in extending The Kids Food Pouch Recycling Programme, so recycling points can become available for more families around the country.”

Danone yoghurt pots are currently 100% recyclable and consist of 30% recycled plastic. The brand is also exploring alternatives to plastics – as part of its UK Plastics Pact commitment – including offers of refillable jars through the Loop zero-waste shopping platform.

EllaCycle

Ella's Kitchen has already rolled out a recycling scheme for packaging which isn't collected at kerbsides nationally, after a successful trial with Asda and TerraCycle.

Launched in April 2019, the six-month trial saw Asda provide Freepost envelopes for baby food pouches at 37 of its UK stores. Consumers were encouraged to place up to 15 food pouches from any brand in the envelopes for posting to TerraCycle, which recycles them into products such as outdoor furniture, playground equipment and fence posts.

To date, the partnership with TerraCycle has seen more than four million pouches recycled. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, Ella’s Kitchen saw a 90% increase in the number of pouches compared to 2019.

Ella’s Kitchen’s chief executive Mark Cuddigan said: “If we are going to have any chance of tackling the environmental challenges our planet faces, from plastic pollution to climate change, then we need to work together. Every food brand should have its own recycling scheme, but individualism is getting in the way of the bigger picture – we need to be fostering collaboration not competition to make the most impact. 

“The Kids Food Pouch Recycling Programme is by no means the only solution. At Ella’s Kitchen, we are committed to making our packaging widely recyclable by 2024 and to tackle the problem we all need to push for long-term, kerbside recycling. Our mission has always been to give little ones the best start in life. We need to work together now to leave the planet in a better place for future generations.”

Cuddigan’s most-recent edie blog outlines why returning to a sense of normality as lockdown eases does not mean reverting back to business as usual. Read the blog here.

Matt Mace



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