Ocado and KP Snacks detail progress on plastic phase-outs

Online retailer Ocado had launched a refresh of its own-range products that will remove more than nine million pieces of packaging while also reducing the amount of plastic used, while KP Snacks has also announced packaging reductions.

Both organisations have successfully removed plastics from a range of products

Both organisations have successfully removed plastics from a range of products

Ocado’s product refresh accounts for more than 530 products, ranging from coffees and salads to tinned goods.

The refresh will see the removal of nine million non-essential packaging components from Ocado’s own-brand products. Across the range, around 27 tonnes of plastic has been removed, including 640,000 plastic nets. An adhesive label has also been removed on items such as egg boxes, with information now printed directly onto the box, saving around 10 tonnes of paper annually.

Ocado is a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact – which commits the retailer to aim for all items to be 100% recyclable and made from at least 30% recycled materials by 2025.

Ocado Retail’s chief customer officer Laura Harricks said: “It's so important to us that we are able to delight customers through our range, value and convenience but we also recognise the importance of ensuring that our impact on people, animals and the environment is positive and sustainable in the long term.

“We’re delighted that the refreshed collection has given us the opportunity to improve the sustainability credentials of our own-range packaging whilst maintaining high quality and great prices. We are proud of the steps forward we’ve made here - the bright, bold packaging is just the icing on the cake.”

Last month, Ocado launched a dedicated virtual 'aisle' showcasing products from B-Corp certified brands, as customers increasingly look for more sustainable groceries.

The virtual aisle features more than 1,100 products from more than 35 brands. Brands showcased include Ella’s Kitchen, Innocent, Method, Charlie Bigham’s, Pip & Nut, Teapigs, PROPER, Alpro, Ben & Jerry’s and Cheeky Panda.

The company has also launched a trial of electric vehicles (EVs) for its rapid grocery delivery service in the heart of London, as part of the retailer's ongoing commitment to reaching net-zero emissions.

The trial is part of Ocado Retail’s target to become net-zero by 2035. Ocado was among the cohort of leading retailers to commit to net-zero through the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The plan, signed by more than 60 retailers, will help deliver a retail industry that will reach net-zero by 2040, including decarbonising stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040.

In related news, KP Snacks has also announced packaging reductions across its food brands. Packaging from Hula Hoops has been cut by 23% – equal to 11 tonnes of plastic – while brands popchips and Tyrrells have both seen packaging reduced by 14%, equivalent to 23 and 43 tonnes of plastic respectively.

Further investments have seen 142 tonnes of packaging reduced across crisp brands Nik Naks, Space Raiders and Skips. A further 144 tonnes will be saved thanks to packaging reductions in sharing bags of crisps.

As the packaging has been produced KP Snacks has been able to reduce the number of journeys made by lorries, helping to reduce emissions as a result.

KP Snacks’ manufacturing director Mark Duffy said: “We’re always looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment, and sustainability is one of the four key pillars of our Taste for Good programme. Our pacKPromise is our three-stage plan to reduce our packaging impact on the environment. In addition to reducing the amount of packaging we use, we’ve also introduced a partnership with TerraCycle, so that all of our snacks packs can be recycled at any of 500 drop off locations across the UK.

“Our ultimate aim is to make all of our plastic film packaging 100% recyclable by 2025 and we’re well on our way to achieving this. While our packaging has reduced, people can rest assured that the same great tasting snacks are inside.”


Join the conversation with edie's Circular Economy Inspiration Sessions

On 25 March, as part of its special Circular Economy Week of online content and events, edie is hosting three live, interactive webinar presentations and discussions – all dedicated to accelerating the transition to a zero-waste economy. 

Called the Circular Economy Inspiration Sessions, the three events, range from Q&A style debates with circular economy experts, business-led panel discussions and a masterclass. Experts from organisations including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and The Body Shop are taking part. 

For full details and to register, click here. 

Matt Mace



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