This year will see the manufacturer transition its Protein line of its Weetabix On the Go breakfast drinks to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles.
Trials will be conducted to ensure the clear PET bottles are able to keep the nutritional properties of the drink from deteriorating in sunlight. The new bottle will be 51% recycled content (rPET), reducing its carbon footprint by 7%.
New biscuit wrap
The Northamptonshire-based cereal firm is also set to unroll an improved, widely recyclable paper wrap across all its biscuits – including Weetabix Original, Flavours and Protein. Weetabix said the improved paper wrap had a much smaller carbon footprint, delivering a 20% reduction in emissions compared to the existing packaging.
John Petre, head of supply chain and technical at Weetabix Food Company, said: “Facing down this milestone of reaching 99% recyclable packaging is a huge testament to the hard work of the team. At this stage all the low-hanging fruit is long gone and the decisions that remain take a lot of hard work and dedication to get the innovations right.
“We had to do a lot of research and testing with our On The Go Drinks bottle in order to launch the fully recyclable bottle last year and we’re delighted to be rolling that out for our protein range as well later this year.”
The manufacturer’s recyclability announcement coincided with the launch of its 2021 sustainability report, which detailed its sustainability commitments to date. Highlights included its continued sourcing of local wheat for its Weetabix Original cereal and a certification from UTZ that all the cocoa used across its product portfolio is sustainable.
Weetabix also agreed a deal with UK-based green energy supplier Smartest Energy to supply factories with certificate-backed natural renewable energy, generated by wind, solar and water power. The imported renewable energy will supplement the existing generation that Weetabix has on site at Burton Latimer and will help to reduce the company’s Scope 2 emissions.
Meanwhile, recyclable packaging innovations took a high profile last month, with Coveris announcing a string of developments, while transport issues look set to drive up testliner costs and steel costs have rocketed over 12 months.