SPAR has signed the WRAP UK Plastics Pact and has been a member for 3 years now. The UK Plastics Pact is a collaborative initiative which started in 2018 and aims to create a circular economy for plastics. It brings together suppliers and retail businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK Government, NGOs and trade organisations to tackle the scourge of plastic waste. This demonstrates clear commitment from SPAR to reduce it's use of plastics and ensuring a more circular economy, keeping plastic out of the oceans and in the system.
We are committed to eliminating single use plastic in our SPAR brand packaging and will ensure compliance with regulatory requirements as they are published by Government across our 4 Nations.
Packaging plays an important role in protecting food. It protects it from damage and keeps it fresher for longer, making sure that the food from SPAR always reaches you in the best possible condition. However, we also want to ensure that we minimise our impact on the environment by reducing our use of plastics and ensuring our packaging is recyclable wherever possible. With this in mind, we have made 4 key commitments regarding our SPAR own brand packaging:
- We are working towards eliminating all SPAR brand single use plastics by 2025
- We are working towards SPAR brand plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025
- We’ll be working on organising collection points for customers plastic packaging at the front of our stores
- Our suppliers are working towards a minimum of 30% recycled content in SPAR brand plastic packaging by 2025
Our SPAR partners are also working with WRAP UK Plastic Pact opportunity to remove unnecessary packaging and date codes on a number of fruit and vegetables in our stores.
We’ve been really busy and have made great progress towards reducing our use of plastic packaging, but we still have more to do...
Years 1 and 2
- We eliminated black plastic from all SPAR brand packaging by the end of 2020 and our cotton bud stems are made from paper rather than plastic in line with legislative change.
- We removed and replaced 524 tonnes of virgin plastic and non-recyclable plastic, with recycled material across our SPAR brand product portfolio, with our waters, flavoured waters, ciders, squashes and mixers and vegetable oil bottles containing between 46 and 51% recycled content.
- We replaced black with clear or NIR detectable packaging material, eg sausages, cooked meats, ready meals and fresh chicken
- Our SPAR brand trays contain increased recycled content with our pots and trays containing up to 80% recycled material and are fully recyclable
- We have OPRL recycling logo and information on the back of all own brand products and update these regularly in line with new plastic materials that are becoming recyclable as we work towards a more circular economy.
- In 2022, we removed 75 tonnes of SPAR brand product plastic over the year and here’s a bit more detail behind the work:
- We removed/replaced polystyrene from our cream pots
- We moved to 80% recycled material in our cheese trays
- We removed 3.25 tonnes packaging from our frozen vegetable packaging
- Our vinegar bottles are no longer virgin material and are made with recycled material
Year 3, 2023 – we’re working on quite a few product packaging changes so we’ll update you once we’re finished with our progress this year.