Are Brands Leading Sustainability?

11 October by Katie Pereira


Growing concerns from pressure groups and consumers are putting global brands in the sustainability spotlight.

Although sustainability is on their agenda, many groups feel that the global brands are not moving quickly enough.

  • Over 5,000 coffee cups are thrown away in the UK each minute, but less than 1% are recycled.
  • Each year the average UK household uses 500 plastic bottles but only recycles about 50%

With stats like this, there is mounting pressure to address recycling on a grander scale and innovate to create packaging from recycled material.

P&G announced this month (October 2017) the launch of their Fairy Ocean Plastic washing up liquid bottle, which will be made completely from post-consumer recycled plastics (PCR) and repurposed ocean plastic.  Set to go on sale in 2018, the bottles will consist of 10% ocean plastic, with the rest deriving from post-consumer plastics.

Costa Coffee, McDonald's UK and Starbucks have agreed a joint deal to accelerate the nationwide recycling of PE lined paper cups.  Costa Coffee has rolled out a cup recycling scheme to more than 2,000 of its stores across the UK and Starbucks offer a 25p discount on your drink, if you bring in your own cup.

At present Coca-Cola Europe have said their bottles contain 25% recycled material and they have pledged to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020.  They have also announced that they will support a deposit return scheme (DRS)

But is this enough?  Maybe not, but hopefully the tide is turning and the more pressure consumers put on global brands to look at their supply chains and recycling policies the quicker we will move towards more sustainable products and packaging.

As an individual you can start by taking the pledge to stop using plastic bags