SPAR revamp of own label packaging removes 300 tonnes of plastic

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SPAR said it has removed nearly 300 tonnes of virgin plastic in a year to mark the World Environment Day.

The convenience store group has revamped its own label packaging range as part of its commitment to remove as much plastic as possible.

It has removed nearly 300 tonnes of virgin plastic from 53 own label products by including re-cycled plastic in the packaging. Its own label ready meal trays now include 80% recycled material and are fully recyclable.

The group has also prevented over 100 tonnes of black plastic going in landfill, by replacing it in 45 products with other alternatives.

“A year ago we made a huge commitment to eliminate black plastic from our SPAR own label packaging range by the end of 2020 and we are delighted to be working well ahead of our target,” said Cath McIlwham, head of CSR at SPAR UK.

The environmental initiatives by the group also include a range of carrier bag options available for retailers. It offers a re-usable bag retailing at 10p which includes recycled content and a more durable £1 bag which is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The group is trialling both a paper carrier bag, which retails at 25p, and a compostable bag.

SPAR has committed to eliminate single use plastic altogether from its own label range by 2025. It has also pledged to have an average of 30% recycled content in plastic packaging and ensure 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.

“We know that being environmentally friendly is a really important area of concern for our customers.  Our research showed that our customers wanted more information on recycling and as a result we are putting the OPRL (on-pack recycling logo) on all our own label packaging,” added McIlwham.

It now provides recycling information on over 700 own label products.

SPAR also works with a number of online apps like Too Good to Go, Gander and Ubamarket to reduce food waste, besides supporting a number of charitable food distributors.