New IGD report calls for urgent reassessment of UK packaging strategy

Date : 12 April 2022
  • Business as usual will not deliver a shared industry ambition of halving the environmental impact of UK packaging system by 2030
  • A shift in focus from plastics to all packaging materials is needed

IGD has published a new report to help the food and consumer goods industry drive progress towards the shared ambition of halving the environmental impact of the UK packaging system by 2030.

The new report – ‘Halving the environmental impact of the UK packaging system: How industry and key stakeholders can work together to drive positive change’ – focuses on the big challenges facing the industry and highlights opportunities to reduce impact and deliver cost savings.

To achieve the 2030 ambition, business as usual will not be enough; there will need to be a 20% reduction in the amount of packaging on the market. The report identifies three key levers to change: remove packaging; increase recycled content; and decarbonise existing supply chains. The ambition will require a shift in focus from plastics to all packaging materials.

Susan Barratt, CEO at IGD, says: “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. 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.

“Our challenge is to find solutions to future packaging systems that can help consumers do their bit for the planet and also keep their costs down. For businesses, the opportunity is to provide them with a framework for investment that minimises costs and enables growth.

“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.”

Halving the environmental impact of the UK packaging system’ is a free report for industry and is the next phase of IGD’s sustainable packaging work, following the launch of ‘How To Help Consumers Adopt Reusable Packaging’ last year, which highlighted consumer tools for adopting refill and on-the-go packaging solutions.

Join the industry to drive progress towards the 2030 ambition to halve the environmental impact of the UK packaging system and partner with IGD on projects to test solutions. For more information, get in touch at [email protected].

ENDS

For media enquiries, supporting quotes from industry working groups or further information, please contact Sarah Burns [email protected] / t: 07483 094027

Notes to editors

  1. IGD has convened the food and consumer goods industry to help make packaging systems more sustainable, bringing together stakeholders from across the industry, packaging manufacturers, waste industry, circular economy experts and industry associations, to create the shared ambition.
  2. The ambition addresses all packaging materials, not just plastic, and covers a spectrum of environmental impacts, not just plastic waste or climate, to tackle an industry critical issue.
  3. All content is owned by IGD. If you use or refer to any content in this press release, please credit IGD
  4. Follow us on Twitter: @fromIGD and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/igd/
  5. IGD is an organisation of two interconnected communities. The profits from Commercial Insight are reinvested into Social Impact, which together work to drive change that makes a tangible difference for society, business and the individual.
  6. Social Impact from IGD is delivered in four key areas:
    1. People – focussed on giving young people opportunities to develop their employability and life skills, and on building the knowledge and capability of food and consumer goods industry colleagues, to foster an inclusive and productive workforce;
    2. Health – nutrition experts use the latest research and behavioural science to develop practical tools that help the whole industry. IGD is collaborating with and inspiring companies to adopt best practice and implement change;
    3. Sustainability – focused on mobilising the industry to tackle climate change, reduce food waste, increase food surplus redistribution, develop sustainable packaging systems and accelerate the industry’s progress towards Net Zero;
    4. Economics – supporting better strategic planning and decision making, for the benefit of consumers, through economic analysis and engagement with policy makers.