The Plastics Action Alliance was set up in November 2018 and features businesses from all aspects of the Irish food sector. Businesses signed up to it include: ABP (beef); Aurivo (dairy); Manor Farm (poultry); Irish Country Meats (lamb); Rosderra (pork); Keelings (fruit), Monaghan Mushrooms (mushrooms), Country Crest/Ballymaguire Foods (vegetables and prepared meals), Nature’s Best (salads); C&D Foods (pet food); and Bandon Co-Op (dairy).
The group’s overall goals are to reduce both the use and quantity of plastic packaging without compromising on quality, shelf life and consumer experience; proactively search for new materials from renewable sources and redesign packaging to reduce the amount of plastic in each pack.
Its more immediate goals include the elimination of unnecessary single use plastics from everyday activities across all member sites; no longer use PVC where viable alternatives exist; use cardboard packaging that is certified PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and for no packaging waste to go to landfill by the end of 2020.
By 2025, it wants to ensure a 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging; eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging through improved design, innovation or alternative renewable options and for all plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
Aidan Cotter, the independent chairman of the Plastics Action Alliance, said: “It is important to demonstrate that we have a real and binding commitment to the reduction of the use of plastic across our member companies, who are leaders in their respective fields in Ireland. The objects we have set are a tangible demonstration that the Alliance intends to take meaningful action with the introduction of further sustainable processes across their businesses. Some of the objectives we have set are ambitious, but we are confident that they will be met.”