2 Sisters Food Group aims to ensure that 90% of the plastic packaging it uses will be recyclable by 2020, as part of an initiative to reduce plastic use at the business.
The company, which is the UK’s largest supplier of supermarket chicken, has pledged to phase out its use of unrecyclable bottles and cups at all of its 36 sites in the UK by the end of 2018. Recycling points will be installed at all facilities.
As part of its 2018 recycling strategy, 2 Sisters aims for an “innovative collaboration” with retailers and suppliers to develop closed loop solutions to increase packaging recycling. It will review targets in line with developing technology “to move further up the waste hierarchy”.
Ranjit Singh, president of Boparan Holdings, said: “Plastic packaging has played a critical role in reducing food waste and extending shelf life of products, but the environmental impact of this material must be addressed by the whole food system.
“We need a culture change to make the biggest difference – both in the way we use plastics for our products and how we use plastics in our everyday lives. So we’re totally committed to putting in place some stretching targets I know my teams in the business are eager to achieve in the next 20 months.”
Singh, who recently stepped down as CEO of 2 Sisters after 25 years, added: “We already operate responsibly and through our company’s sustainability plan, called Feeding Our Future, but we are keen to take things further than ever before. We have collaborated with our suppliers, partners and customers on reducing and improving recyclability of plastic packaging for several years, and now we will do so again to achieve a real step change by 2020.
“This is a complex issue that requires the involvement, collaboration and innovation of all parties involved in the production, distribution, retail and consumption of food, and we want to act as the lead partner in this.”
The announcement follows a challenging few months for the company, which has been in the spotlight since it was embroiled in a food hygiene row last year following an undercover investigation by the Guardian and ITV.
Workers at a 2 Sisters plant in West Bromwich were found to be altering kill dates and the undercover report stated that employees were seen changing records of where the chickens had been slaughtered.
2 Sisters will will report on the progress of its 2018 recycling strategy next year.