Spar has removed nearly 300 tonnes of virgin plastic from 53 own label products, prevented more than 100 tonnes of black plastic going to landfill, and added recycling information on over 700 Spar own-label products in the past year.
The symbol group has unveiled new targets for 2025, on World Environment Day today (5 June), to have an average of 30% recycled content in plastic packaging and ensure 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Cath McIlwham, head of CSR at Spar UK, said: “A year ago we made a huge commitment to eliminate black plastic from our Spar own-label packaging range by the end of 2020 and we are delighted to be working well ahead of our target.
“We know that protecting the planet for the future is important to our customers and retailers and we have shown how committed we are to reducing the amount of plastic we use and ensuring packaging is recyclable where possible.”
Spar has a number of additional environmental initiatives in place. It offers retailers a range of options for carrier bags, encompassing a re-usable bag retailing at 10p which includes recycled content. It also has a more durable £1 bag which is made from recycled plastic bottles. The convenience store group is trialling both a paper carrier bag, which retails at 25p, and a compostable bag.
McIlwham added “We know that being environmentally friendly is a really important area of concern for our customers. Our research showed that our customers wanted more information on recycling and as a result we are putting the OPRL (on-pack recycling logo) on all our own-label packaging.”
Spar also works with a number of online app companies like Too Good to Go, Gander and Ubamarket to reduce food waste and help the environment. The group also supports a number of charitable food distributors around the UK.