In 2018 Young’s committed to significant cuts in its use of paper packaging and reducing plastic packaging by 10%, including the removal of all black plastic by the end of 2020. This was part of a broader strategy to ensure 100% of all its packaging was reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
The company said it had now achieved those targets early, successfully removing more than 170 tonnes of unnecessary paper packaging and 300 tonnes of plastic packaging in the process.
In order to reduce its use of paper, Young’s launched a large-scale initiative to review the packaging of its Simply Breaded and Chip Shop standard and extra-large product ranges.
UK Plastic's Pact
To achieve its targets on plastics, which are linked to the UK’s Plastics Pact, it undertook a review of its entire product range, including own-label lines. Major successes included eliminating over 40 tonnes of non-recyclable black plastic from its Gastro range by moving to a recyclable paperboard tray, a medium it has used across its fish pie range for over 15 years. In addition, it was able to replace 127 tonnes of other plastics with recyclable materials, including its Scampi bags.
Young’s attributed its success to its focused Redesign, Remove, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle strategy.
Helen Nickells, head of packaging development at Young’s said: “The packaging reduction we have achieved to date, specifically our efforts across the Simply Breaded and Chip Shop ranges, has also allowed us to generate additional environmental benefits including taking 256 lorries of the roads and significantly reducing our carbon footprint.
“Our next course of action will be tackling functional films which are currently non-recyclable and a more complex material to replace. We are also well on our way to ensuring that all our branded paper packaging is from Forest Stewardship Council or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certified sources, which we anticipate to be completed by March 2021.”