Sustainable packaging achieved by many firms

29th November 2012 - Fine Cut

A number of major manufacturers have announced they are making considerable headway in their efforts towards sustainable packaging and reducing landfill waste, reports letsrecycle.com.

John Lewis, for instance, has introduced biodegradable polyethylene packaging to several of its products in order to reduce its environmental impact. The new bags will decompose within five to 15 years - a significant drop from the hundreds of years estimated for conventional plastic bags to decompose, cites businessgreen.com.

Mark Gallen, John Lewis' packaging design and production manager, commented on the changes: "The company stresses that the new packaging is not designed to replace recycling but, where recycling facilities are not present, the use of an additive in the manufacturing process will allow much faster aerobic or anaerobic decomposition on landfill sites or within household composting."

Procter & Gamble (P&C) has also been exceeding its environmental targets. Changes to the way P&C construct their packaging - including their labels, colours and plastics - means that 99.2 per cent of all materials coming into the firm's plants were reused, recycled or converted into energy.

The firm's long term aim is for zero consumer waste to end up in landfill. In addition, GlaxoSmithKline has announced it is sending zero waste to landfill, two years earlier than it has targeted. Through re-using and recycling, the firm is also more cost-effective.

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