Knowledge forum will make packaging greener, says Asda

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Retailing

ASDA has joined an industry packaging council to make the supply chain more sustainable, claims the retailer’s packaging buyer.

Shane Monkman said the supermarket chain, through a forum provided by the Industry Council for Packaging and the Environment (Incpen), will pool its technical expertise with raw material suppliers, packaging converters, product manufacturers and other retailers in a bid to minimise the environmental impact of packaging.

He claims that by working alongside other companies, the retailer can help implement cross-sector improvements to help reduce consumption and keep costs to a minimum.

According to Monkman, ASDA has embarked on a programme of waste reduction including redesigning all its own label food packaging to reduce the amount used by 25 per cent.


The UK's Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) claims that examples of initiatives to reduce packaging waste includes schemes such as its GlassRite Wine project, which was managed by British glass and resulted in more than 350 different wine label bottles being lightweighted as well as a reduction in glass of 11,400 tonnes .

"Innovations such as the vacuum packaging of meat to cut out conventional one-size-fits-all thermoformed tray pack usage is a step change towards lowering the carbon footprint of processors as it not only cuts down on material but also lowers distribution costs by enabling more units per truck per journey",​ claims WRAP retail initiative manager Charlotte Henderson.

She added that product reformulation proposals such as doubling the concentration of juice to reduce bottle size or refillable packaging solutions for milk and coffee can also have a huge impact.

Bulk alternative

Meanwhile, a new US based organization called the Bulk is Green Council is aiming to increase awareness of bulk foods to give consumers more of a choice about the precise quantities they want to purchase, and to reduce packaging.

Bulk is Green believes that the availability of more foods in large, in store containers, from which consumers serve the precise quantities they require, will help reduce the amount of packaging and food waste as well as keeping down grocery bills.Transport costs

The use of bulk foods, said the group, also ensures that transportation to retail outlets is more efficient as there is no packaging – and there is no transportation of the packaging materials from the supplier to the food processor, either.

Asked whether the movement could meet resistance from packaged food firms and packaging suppliers, Jim Clemens, executive director of the Bulk is Green Council, said that the council’s members consist of representatives of companies that also sell food ready packaged – such as Hain Celestial, SunRidge Farms and GrandyOats.

“The idea is not to compete with packaged food, but to encourage bulk food as an option,”​ he added.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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