As part of its target of achieving 30% circular plastic use across its fast-moving consumer goods packaging by 2030, Berry Global is collaborating in a first of its kind project launched by Heinz and Tesco in the UK to enable the recycling of soft plastics, dropped off by customers at Tesco’s in-store collection points.
Heinz and Tesco have teamed up with packaging industry leader Berry Global and recycling technology experts Plastic Energy and Sabic to launch this pioneering trial, with the development of new Heinz Beanz Snap Pots which incorporate 39% ISCC PLUS-certified recycled soft plastic on a mass balance basis.
The snap pots for Heinz’s famous Baked Beanz are produced by Berry Global. Soft plastic is returned by consumers to Tesco stores, collected and then physically segregated for conversion by Plastic Energy into an optimal oil feedstock. This is combined with virgin material by Sabic to produce an alternative feedstock to manufacture virgin food-contact approved plastic pellets. These are sent to an ISCC-certified (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) Berry Global site for manufacturing into new Heinz Beanz Snap Pots.
An example of circular packaging design, these Heinz Beanz Snap Pots incorporate 39% ISCC PLUS-certified recycled soft plastic. (Photo: Berry)
“This is a prime example of an innovative advancement in circular packaging design made possible by collaboration across the entire value chain,” commented Jean-Marc Galvez, President, Berry Global Consumer Packaging International Division. “This approach helps capture and reuse plastics that currently go unrecycled, to keep materials in use and out of our oceans and landfills.”
The 39% recycled plastic that the new snap pots contain was validated using the “mass balance approach” endorsed by ISCC. This makes it possible to track the amount and sustainability characteristics of materials used in the manufacturing process. The recycled material meets the requirements of food-contact safety regulations and provides a replacement for virgin polypropylene in the thin-wall pack with no compromise on processability or mechanical performance.
“We want our snap pots to be more sustainable while retaining the features that make them so popular with consumers: their convenience, handy snappable format, microwaveability and ensuring the product remains fresh,” said Héloïse Carlier, Senior Packaging Development Technologist at Heinz. “With this project and our introduction of the new Heinz Beanz Snap Pots, 22 tons of soft plastics will be recycled.”
To date soft plastic packaging has been notoriously difficult to recycle - until 2020 just 6% of the material was being recycled in the UK. It is hoped this venture will inspire the wider industry to take action in tackling this issue, both in the UK and other countries across Europe.
“We’re proud to have teamed up with leading experts to bring this important innovation to our customers,” commented Jojo de Noronha, Heinz’s President Northern Europe. “Our hope is that this prompts an industry-wide look at what more can be done to address the lack of soft plastics being recycled in the UK, and we can, as a collective, get better when it comes to developing new packaging solutions that are good for both our consumers and for our planet.”
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