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The latest Green Packaging Initiatives in Retail

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As peak season rolls on, the UK’s biggest retailers are continuing to announce innovative packaging and waste management schemes--from refill and reuse systems to the introduction of plastic-free packaging for popular lines. 

In case you missed them, here are some of the retail marketplace's most notable green packaging announcements from the last two weeks.

Aldi remove plastic from its wooden toy range

UK discount retailer Aldi has pivoted away from plastic for the packaging of its wooden toy range, swapping plastic tape and wrap for paper-based alternatives.

The new packaging launch, which is set to reduce the supermarket’s plastic use by 54 tonnes annually, took place on 31st October and will cover 26 lines, aligning with the launch of plush toys made from recycled polyester. 

Coca-cola reveals 100% plant-based bottle prototype 

US drinks giant The Coca-Cola Company has announced the creation of the first 100% plastic-based plastic (bPET) bottle. 

The packaging innovation (that doesn’t include the lid and label) has been produced using plant-based sources, eliminating the need for petroleum-based materials in the bottles’ production and signalling a sizeable step forward in the production of commercially viable plant-based plastic bottles in the future.

Approximately 900 bottles have been created to date--they’re processible within conventional recycling systems--and the company claims the technology is now ready for rollout across the industry.

The Coca-Cola Company aims to be a net-zero carbon business by 2050, and this breakthrough serves to support the brand’s aim to make 100% of its packaging recyclable and from 50% from recycled sources moving forward.

Aldi reduces plastic in its whole chicken range

In a further effort to reduce its plastic use, Aldi has announced the removal of plastic trays in the packaging of its whole fresh chickens.

The fresh poultry will now be packaged solely in shrink wrap, reducing plastic for the product by up to 66%.

If rolled out nationwide, the move will cut 116 tonnes of plastic from Aldi’s supply chain, supporting the company’s aim to halve its plastic use by 2025. 

Co-op partners with Unilever for refill and reuse trials

British food retailer Co-op has partnered with consumer goods company Unilever to launch refill/reuse trials on a range of products.

Two schemes are to be trialled: ‘refill on the go’, and ‘return on the go’ with the aim of gauging consumer behaviour and relationships with reuse systems, and will first launch in Wolverhampton Rd, Codsall, before heading to Marsh, Huddersfield later this month.

The ‘refill on the go’ scheme will allow customers to buy stainless steel bottles that can be refilled for later use, while the ‘return on the go’ system will facilitate the purchase of already-filled stainless steel bottles that shoppers can return to the store after use. 

The system will be applied across a range of products, including Simple, Persil and Radox, underpinning a range of initiatives set out by Co-op to become a net-zero business by 2040.  

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