Young’s Seafood has met all its 2020 targets for packaging reduction ahead of its end of year deadline. The company is celebrating a major milestone in reducing its environmental impact and promoting sustainable business practices
In 2018 Grimsby-based Young’s committed to significant cuts in its use of paper packaging and reducing plastic packaging by 10 per cent , including the removing all black plastic by the end of 2020. This was part of a broader strategy to ensure that 100% of all packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
It has now achieved those targets early, successfully removing over 170 tonnes of unnecessary paper packaging and 300 tonnes of plastic packaging in the process.
In order to reduce its use of paper, Young’s launched a large-scale initiative to review the packaging of its Simply Breaded and Chip Shop standard and extra-large product ranges. By reducing the size of the cartons, without compromising on product quality or size, Young’s was able to eliminate 170 tonnes of unnecessary paper packaging annually.
To achieve the company’s targets on plastics, which are linked to the UK’s Plastics Pact, it undertook a review of its entire product range, including own label offerings. Major successes included eliminating over 40 tonnes of non-recyclable black plastic from the Gastro range by moving to a recyclable paperboard tray, a medium it has used across its fish pie range for over 15 years.
In addition, Young’s, which also has a major Scottish operation, was able to replace 127 tonnes of other plastics with recyclable materials, including its Scampi bags.
Young’s success has been down to its focused strategy which comprises of five distinct components: redesign, remove, reduce, reuse and recycle.
Helen Nickells, Head of Packaging Development at Young’s said: “We are hugely aware of our responsibility to bring great tasting seafood to the nation’s table in a sustainable way and reducing our use of packaging is a vital part of this.
“The packaging reduction we have achieved to date, specifically our efforts across the Simply Breaded and Chip Shop ranges, has also allowed us to generate additional environmental benefits including taking 256 lorries of the roads and significantly reducing our carbon footprint.
She added: “This is not the end of the road by any means, the results to date are brilliant, but we must not lose site of the journey ahead. Our next course of action will be tackling functional films which are currently non-recyclable and a more complex material to replace. We are also well on our way to ensuring that all our branded paper packaging is from FSC or PEFC certified sources, which we anticipate to be completed by March 2021.”

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