A new report from IGD has said that a 'business as usual' approach will fall short of delivering an industry-wide ambition to halve the environmental impact of the UK packaging sector by 2030.
IGD's report, ‘Halving the environmental impact of the UK packaging system: How industry and key stakeholders can work together to drive positive change’, outlines some of the major challenges facing the industry, as well as methods to reduce impact and deliver cost savings.
Among its key messages is that in order to achieve a halving of the environmental impact by 2030, a 20% reduction in the amount of packaging on the market will be required.
Three levers can play an important role in driving this change – to remove packaging; increase recycled content; and decarbonise existing supply chains.
The ambition will require a shift in focus from plastics to all packaging materials, it added.
Sustainable Packaging Systems
“Creating sustainable packaging systems is a critical issue. Last year, we brought together stakeholders to form a working group to create our shared industry ambition," said Susan Barratt, IGD chief executive.
"Recent events have thrown the context of this work sharply into focus, with unprecedented challenges around commodity inflation and supply affecting businesses and consumers alike. This has led to a significant reappraisal of packaging strategy and sourcing decisions."
Barratt said that the core challenge is to find future packaging systems that can assist consumers in 'doing their bit' for the planet, while also keeping costs down.
"For businesses, the opportunity is to provide them with a framework for investment that minimises costs and enables growth," she said.
“Our stakeholders have been invaluable in challenging our industry to work together as one voice. It will now take industry leaders, technical and commercial teams to refocus their plans to ensure that collectively, we can meet this ambition.”
The report can be found here.