DS Smith Achieves Plastic Reduction Target Ahead Of Schedule

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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DS Smith Achieves Plastic Reduction Target Ahead Of Schedule

Packaging giant DS Smith has announced it has replaced more than one billion pieces of plastic, such as fruit punnets and shrink wrap, from its operations, 16 months ahead of its 2025 target.

The group said that as of May 2024, it has replaced over 1.2 billion pieces of plastic across its international markets, hailing the achievement as a 'key sustainability milestone'.

Now & Next

The target was established as part of DS Smith’s Now & Next Sustainability Strategy, launched in 2020. This objective spans DS Smith's operations across 27 countries in Europe and North America, aiming for a circular approach to design out waste and keep materials in use for longer.

Certain markets have performed particularly strongly – in the UK, some 274 million pieces of plastic were replaced, while in France, 260 million pieces were replaced, and in Germany, 153 million pieces were replaced.

“When we set our Now and Next sustainability strategy, we wanted to include goals that delivered environmental change beyond as well as within DS Smith," commented Miles Roberts, group chief executive, DS Smith. "By innovating to help our customers replace or reduce plastics, we are responding to societal demands to reduce plastic pollution, as well as growing our partnerships with customers."


To achieve the one-billion target, DS Smith relied on its Circular Design Principles and Circular Design Metrics, both crafted in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, it said in a statement.

Approximately 800 designers at DS Smith have received training in these principles, enabling them to assess performance in areas like recycled content, recyclability, estimated CO2 emissions, waste reduction, and supply chain efficiency.

'Just The Beginning'

"I am proud of every single member of the DS Smith team for achieving this goal, and a year early. However, this is very much the beginning," Roberts added. "There are many more positive impacts we can make by supporting our customers and communities in their sustainability goals and we are extremely motivated by this mission.

"But it is important to note that if our customers – the biggest FMCG brands – are to remove plastics at scale and at pace, they need the right regulatory framework around them. What we need are stronger, harmonised, global, regulations that level the playing field, to help businesses move away from plastic.”

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