“I’m delighted to launch this new recycling scheme with TerraCycle, which for the first time will allow not only crisp packets, but also nuts, popcorn and pretzels packets to be recycled,” said KP CEO Mark Thorpe.
The ‘short-term recycling solution’ is the first of three phases in the company’s ‘pacKPromise,’ which aims to transition to 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic film packaging by 2025. Demand from consumers and retailers pushed KP to pursue this program.
In the first phase, KP wanted to diminish its packaging footprint. The company is Europe’s leading savory snacks producer by volume and has cut the packaging on its Hula Hoops potato snack by 23%, according to KP.
"KP Snacks believe that plastic reduction is a significant challenge across both the manufacturing and retail environment that requires collaborative and innovative approaches," a spokesperson told BakeryandSnacks. "Giving consumers access to better recycling facilities is one important solution to a complex and challenging issue and the initiative forms part of our longer-term commitment for all packaging to be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025."
The snack maker already uses 11% less packaging than it did ten years ago, the spokesperson added, and 90% of its corrugated cardboard comes from recycled sources.
If there is no nearby drop-off, consumers can establish their own inside a local business, school, church or charity, for instance. TerraCycle delivers the collection box, and when full, the consumer can download a free UPS label and order a free pick-up. Consumers must take the step of collecting their KP snack bags and dropping them off at their nearest public drop-off location, which they can search for on TerraCycle’s website. Currently there are 154 participating locations that launched on March 6.
After cleaning and shredding, TerraCycle’s system converts the packaging waste into pellets or flakes. Recycled material eventually turns into items such as outdoor furniture, watering cans or storage boxes. The sustainability company works with more than 100 brands in 21 countries.
UK recycling crackdown
The UK government requires what it calls ‘obligated packaging producers’ to commit to reducing the amount of packaging they produce and the amount that reaches landfills. Producers are also required to enhance the ability of packaging to be recyclable or reusable.
By April 2022, product packages must consist of a minimum of 30% recycled content – or face a packaging tax.
Last year’s plastic recycling and recovery target stood at 53%, according to the UK’s National Packaging Waste Database. The target for 2020 is 57%.
By comparison, glass is set to reach 80%, paper and cardboard 75%, and aluminum 64% by the end of next year.