Weetabix Food Company has announced it is well on track to meet its target of entirely renewable packaging, well ahead of its 2025 deadline. According to the group, it will achieve 99% recyclable packaging by summer 2022, with further changes to product packaging anticipated to help reach the final target.
Under the group’s new green push, its On The Go protein drinks have been transferred to recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles made from 51% recycled materials, cutting its carbon footprint by 7%. The company says ‘extensive’ trials were undertaken to test the efficacy of this new model, ensuring it protected the drink from deteriorating in sunlight. Recyclable paper packaging is also anticipated to be deployed for the company’s biscuit products, which the group says will provide emissions reductions of 20% as compared to existing wrappings.
“Ultimately, all our packaging decisions are based on whether they reduce our overall carbon footprint,” said John Petre, head of Supply Chain and Technical at Weetabix Food Company. “Since food waste is a big contributor to carbon emissions and environmental damage, our concern is always to balance packaging innovation against that risk.
“Facing down this milestone of reaching 99% recyclable packaging is a huge testament to the hard work of the team,” he added. “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.”
The new product launch coincided with the group publishing its 2021 sustainability report, in which it detailed its sustainable actions to date; such as sourcing wheat from local producers, and using sustainably-sourced cocoa. A collaboration with Smartest Energy was also announced in the report, a partnership that will see the energy company providing Weetabix’s factories with renewable energy – encompassing wind, solar and water.
Weetabix is also to partake in a water reuse scheme, in which evaporation from steam produced in its operations will be captured and reused. It is estimated that closing the loop on this form of water use could enable savings of over a million litres of water per year.