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Major brands blasted over unrecyclable packaging

Consumer organisation Which? has called for a number of major grocery brands to introduce more sustainable packaging after finding some leading products could not be recycled.

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Cadbury’s, Pringles, M&Ms and Cathedral City were among the brands singled out for improvement

Chocolate giant Cadbury’s was among the top offenders for packaging that is not easily recyclable, with Which? singling out its 200g Cadbury Dairy Milk bar, Twirl Bites Chocolate 109g bag and Bitsa Wispa 110g chocolate bag.

Mars Wrigley UK was also blasted for its M&Ms Peanut 129g pouch, though the firm told Which? that it is working to provide more guidance to consumers on how to recycle.

“We have a global commitment for 100% of our plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, as well as to have 30% recycled content in our plastic packaging and 10 reuse programmes in market,” Mars Wrigley UK says.

Elsewhere, while Which? found Capri-Sun No Added Sugar Orange pouches are not recyclable, Capri Sun says the pouches use 80% less material than equivalent volume PET bottles and so have a lower CO² footprint.

Which? also says Cathedral City Mini Mature Nets are not easily recyclable, not labelled with information about recycling and come in nets that can clog up recycling machines if they get into them.

There have been some positive changes since we first investigated this issue

In response, Cathedral City says its labelling is changing to include information, adding that it has launched a new partnership with Terracycle, a privately run recycling scheme with drop-off points.

Crisps were also an area of concern, with Which? saying that while packets can be recycled at collection points at supermarkets, more effort is needed to help consumers with this.

Which? also recommended that Pringles make it clear to consumers that part of its packaging can be recycled. Pringles was the only bagged snack looked at to have any component that is recyclable at kerbside –its plastic lid – although the labelling does not explain this.

“There have been some positive changes since we first investigated this issue,” Which? says.

“A UK government ban on single-use plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds is due in October 2020. And it plans a tax on plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled plastic in 2022.

“But more must be done. Clear recycling labelling would make a big difference.”

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