Monday, 18 July 2022 10:24

DS Smith removes over 313m pieces of problem plastic in two years

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Sustainable packaging firm leads plastic replacement fight

DS Smith has just announced that it has designed out over 313 million pieces of problem plastics in the last two years alone1 as part of its ambitious plastic replacement programme.

The significant figure equates to more than three million units per week, as customers and consumers demonstrate demand for fibre-based packaging as an alternative to hard-to-recycle plastics.

To meet this demand, DS Smith designers have worked with customers to create 1,000s of new innovations to replace plastic. Solutions have been created to remove everyday plastic items including ready-meal trays, plastic fruit and vegetable punnets and plastic six pack rings that pollute the planet. This all comes at a time when campaign groups are highlighting the amount of plastic that ends up as waste, making it more important than ever to remove them at the design phase.

Samantha Upham, Sustainability Business Partner – Sales, Marketing & Innovation commented: “With our help, customers are accelerating their ambitions to remove problem plastics from their products. By using our Circular Design Metrics, we can easily show not just where plastic can be replaced, but how circular their packaging is right now and where we can make improvements together.

145494 120633 DSSRM 3D Visuals for Premier Parasite Polypropylene 02

“All 700 of our designers have been trained in our Circular Design Principles, which means we can design out problem plastics at inception stage and find alternative fibre-based solutions which deliver the required attributes.”

Over the next year, DS Smith will continue to drive adoption of fibre-based alternatives amongst customers in response to consumer demand for plastic alternatives. In a recent survey commissioned by DS Smith, 4 in 10 consumers (41 per cent)2a wanted packaging made from alternative renewable sources, whilst in a separate survey, 52 per cent of Brits said they would purchase products that contain less plastic to help improve recycling rates in the UK.2b

As part of DS Smith’s Now & Next sustainability targets, the company has an ambition to take one billion pieces of problem plastics off supermarket shelves, replacing them with corrugated alternatives. DS Smith’s plastic replacement work and wider sustainability progress can be found in its latest sustainability report which can be found here.

  1. Over a 2-year period from May 2020 to April 2022
  2. Market research conducted by OnePoll:
    1. Consumer research: 2,000 UK adults who have shopped online in the past six months. Conducted between 17th June and 23rd June 2022 
    2. Consumer research: 2,000 UK adults who have shopped online in the past six months. Conducted between 17th June and 23rd June 2022

About DS Smith:  

DS Smith is a leading provider of sustainable fibre-based packaging worldwide, which is supported by recycling and papermaking operations. It plays a central role in the value chain across sectors including e-commerce, fast moving consumer goods and industrials.

Through its purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’ and its Now and Next sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition to the circular economy, while delivering more circular solutions for its customers and wider society – replacing problem plastics, taking carbon out of supply chains and providing innovative recycling solutions. Its bespoke box-to-box in 14 days model, design capabilities and innovation strategy sit at the heart of this response.

Headquartered in London and a member of the FTSE 100, DS Smith operates in 34 countries employing around 30,000 people and is a Strategic Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Its history can be traced back to the box-making businesses started in the 1940s by the Smith family.

Read 173 times Last modified on Monday, 18 July 2022 10:54

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