A cross-party parliamentary group warning that firms are replacing plastic with potentially more harmful alternatives for the environment has been described as a ‘wake-up call’ for firms to redouble their sustainability efforts.
Dave Berriman, technical sales support manager at ULMA Packaging UK said, ‘Recent cross-party parliamentary warnings surrounding replacing plastic packaging in the wake of the Green Alliance’s recent report on the topic indicates that alternative materials aren’t always better for the environment. The problem stems from replacing plastic with new packaging materials that have not always been properly assessed in terms of recyclability and carbon footprint.”
ULMA highlighted research revealing that some supermarkets are selling some products under the incorrect assumption they can be recycled, while other materials bring their own carbon-related issues, such as being much heavier and therefore causing more transport pollution.
Dave added, “For processors and retailers striving to respond to consumers who are increasingly looking for environmentally-friendly packaging solutions, it is crucial to find a solution that works. Clearly, cutting out plastic completely isn’t currently meeting this objective.”
ULMA said it is working with a number of material suppliers to develop ‘recyclable mono base materials’, and embarking ongoing development of its machinery to reduce the amount of plastic required and make it easier for consumers to recycle.