As a company we are committed to taking action across the whole of our supply chain to have less impact on our planet - from making the way we grow and source food to be more nature-friendly, to ensuring that the energy we use comes from renewable sources, and taking action to make our packaging more sustainable.
Plastic has the benefits of being lightweight as well as offering excellent keeping properties meaning our products stay fresher for longer and help us to avoid food waste.
However, we agree that plastic is problematic when it ends up in nature and are taking action in a number of areas to try to avoid this and contribute to a waste-free future. We know that the use of virgin plastic is not a long-term solution, which is why we have committed to 100% recyclable/reusable packaging by 2025 and to reduce use of virgin plastic by 1/3 over the same timeframe.
Our work is far from over there and we continue to research and innovate to consider alternative materials to plastics and are increasingly undertaking lifecycle assessments to help us fully understand the environmental implications of different packaging solutions for different products as we aim to make responsible choices in the business. We want to be able to provide high quality safe products you expect from us but without impacting our precious environment and we are committed to make this happen.
At the same time as making changes to our packaging, in the UK there is also the need to build an infrastructure to enable more recycling of plastics, particularly flexible plastics like those used on many of our products, as this already exists in a number of other European countries. With the advantages plastic brings as a packaging material, it makes sense to focus on the creation of a mainstream, effective recycling system in addition to reducing our plastic use, so that we can try to put an end to plastic ending up in nature.
We are also actively working with a number of external partners to support more recycling of flexible plastics and to lobby Government on this topic, and we expect to see improvements in the collection and recycling of plastics from 2023.
We are working hard to bring new solutions to market and shift the wider sector so we can all play our part in protecting nature and making a waste-free future a reality.