February 22, 2020

Supermarkets urged to eliminate plastic shrink wrap from their secondary packaging

CEO of low carbon secondary packaging specialist TrakRap, Martin Leeming, hails Tesco’s efforts to remove unnecessary and non-recyclable plastic shrink wrap from its shelves but warns supermarkets and retailers not to ignore the environmental impact of their secondary packaging.

“Supermarket giant Tesco recently announced plans to remove plastic shrink wrap from all its multipack tins in a move to reduce packaging waste by 350 tonnes. While these efforts should be applauded, this move fails to address a larger issue – the amount of waste generated by secondary packaging.

Martin Leeming, TrakRap CEO

“Secondary packaging is vital in the food and drink industry because it protects products during transit and enables them to be handled efficiently. Billions of secondary packaging cases – which typically consist of cardboard boxes and plastic shrink wrap – are supplied each year, with retailers that use them increasing their plastic usage and carbon footprints as a result.

“In order to reduce secondary packaging’s impact on the environment, supermarkets and retailers need to move away from traditional secondary packaging solutions and embrace new eco-innovations. Modern secondary packaging systems that use ultra-thin, 100% recyclable stretch film can instantly reduce plastic usage by as much as 70% and new cardboard box designs can reduce corrugate usage by as much as 40%. 

“By embracing these new eco-innovations, supermarkets could significantly reduce their impact on the environment and become more sustainable. Simply banning or replacing one material with another it is not the answer; using less of everything is.”