The food chain's plastic dilemma

Is plastic a necessary evil?

There is so much to talk about with plastic! It is a topic that has been receiving much needed attention, particularly highlighted in the public mind through David Attenborough’s spotlight on the lasting impact of plastics.

 

Many plastics do not decompose which means they can last centuries in landfill or worse still, end up in the natural environment where we see the devastating impact on the creatures that inhabit them. As plastics degrade overtime they turn into ‘microplastics’ which are pieces of plastic smaller than 5 millimetres. It then fragments down into the even smaller ‘nanoplastics’ – these are no longer visible to the naked eye. This means that plastic is everywhere – from the food we eat, to the water we drink to the air that we breathe

At trove we work to understand the use of plastics across the food supply chain and working with our supplier partners on how each individual business can help to address the challenge. We believe in the power of the collective to make change. Trove are proud to represent SME food retailer businesses, but we also know it can be overwhelming for them to keep up with the regulations and standards that are coming out. These are great commitments to make, but big business will always have an advantage because they can hire in specialist teams to work specifically on sustainability strategies to meet these goals. At Trove we provide that central support to our independent businesses. We keep up to date with the standards and expectations of businesses and we provide our partners with the tools to contribute to these ambition climate change targets.

 

One of the biggest areas to tackle is food packaging. It is estimated that the FIVE MILLION TONNES of plastic is used every year which is the equivalent of 50,000 passenger aeroplanes! Of which nearly HALF is in the form of packaging, yet only 9% of plastics have been recycled. In the food industry we know that plastic has had advantages including contributing to food safety and hygiene. It has also helped reduce packaging weight in transit and thereby reducing energy and emissions that would be generated by using alternative materials. However, it is clear that with the filtration of plastics into the environment, and micro and nano plastics getting into the food chain, that we need to find alternatives. We will be regularly updating our blog as we go through our journey to ideally remove the use of plastics across our food chain….

https://wrap.org.uk/taking-action/plastic-packaging/the-uk-plastics-pact