“We look forward to working closely with government and other key stakeholders on evidence-based approaches to sustainability, including dealing with plastic waste," added Munday."
The food and drinks industry so often implicated in the ongoing fight against waste plastic is fighting the negative press with the release of a document highlighting the work being done in the UK to improve the industry’s environmental footprint. The organisation behind the report is the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), which unveiled that the industry as a whole had more than halved its CO2 emissions since 1990, by 51%.
The federation, which represents UK food and drinks manufacturers, has published the report as part of an industry-wide sustainability action plan for the next seven years and beyond, Ambition 2025. And as part of a more open approach, presumably to encourage more suppliers to get involved, the federation is providing an online platform – The Sustainability Resource Hub – that gives free sustainability information that was in the past only available to FDF members.
Helen Munday, chief scientific officer at the FDF, said the latest news represented a shift towards more sustainable sourcing across the supply chain. “We hope this tool will provide companies, particularly small-to-medium sized ones, with practical guidance to contribute to their sustainability goals.
“We look forward to working closely with government and other key stakeholders on evidence-based approaches to sustainability, including dealing with plastic waste," added Munday.
Two major companies from the drinks industry contributing to the sustainability hub online resource, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) and Britvic, gave examples of the steps they are taking to make their operations more environmentally friendly.
CCEP’s eco-drive involves a partnership with the University of Reading that has created a drinks fountain dispenser that interacts with micro-chipped bottles, allowing those who have purchased credits to fill up and cut their use of plastic bottles. The futuristic bottles can be purchased with pre-paid refills with a range of payment plans, part of what CCEP says will “play a meaningful role in helping to address many of the key societal issues that people are most concerned about”.
For its initiative, Britvic has taken a more interactive process to increase the rate of recycling at music festivals. Some of the UK’s most popular festivals have poor records of recycling plastic, with the South East England event, V Festival, recycling just 29% of 314 tonnes of waste in 2017. Britvic has teamed up with events company, Live Nation. To create its Throwback Boombox, an interactive way to promote the circular economy that aims to change people’s established routines.
The environmental charity Greenpeace (@Greenpeace) has put its weight behind attempts to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in oceans, with a series of petitions that focus on drinks industry companies such as Coca-Cola – an issue that has risen to prominence since BBC Blue Planet II series. Alice Hunter from the charity said: “ditching single use plastics is the only way forward to protect our precious oceans”.
You may also be interested in…