Sunday 20 October 2019

Plastic begone? Leading Irish food producers pledge to greatly reduce their use of plastic

Picker claims she was not provided with proper equipment
Picker claims she was not provided with proper equipment
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A group of Irish food producers have pledged to reduce the amount of plastics they use to wrap or store their products.

The food producers, which include Keelings fruit, Monaghan mushrooms and Manor Farm poultry, recently formed the Plastics Action Alliance group to address the issue of plastic packaging.

Aidan Cotter, the independent Chairman of the Plastics Action Alliance, said the group wanted to demonstrate that it has "a real and binding commitment to the reduction of the use of plastic across our member companies".

He added: "Some of the objectives we have set are ambitious, but we are confident that they will be met.”

In a statement today, the group said its key objectives were to reduce both the use and quantity of plastic packaging without compromising on quality, shelf life and consumer experience, and to eliminate unnecessary single use plastics from everyday activities across all of their sites by the end of 2020 – water bottles, straws coffee cups etc.

The companies, which also include ABP (beef), Aurivo (dairy), Manor Farm (poultry), Irish Country Meats (lamb), and Rosderra (pork), also said they would aim to no longer use PVC in packaging where viable alternatives exist with the required functionality by the end of 2020.

Read More: 'Everything now in plastic and cardboard, the waste is just unbelievable'

Plastics Action Alliance's other aims include:

  • Ensure a 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging by the end of 2025
  • Use cardboard packaging that is certified PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) by end of 2020
  • Proactively search for new materials from renewable sources.
  • Redesign packaging to reduce the amount of plastic in each pack.
  • Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through improved design, innovation or alternative renewable options by 2025.
  • All plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
  • No packaging waste from any participant sites will go to landfill by the end of 2020

Other companies in the Plastics Action Alliance are Country Crest/Ballymaguire Foods (vegetables and prepared meals), Nature’s Best (salads); C&D Foods (petfood); and Bandon Co-Op (dairy.

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