Berry supplier to remove 150t of single use plastic a year

The berry brand will be the first in the UK to switch to punnets made from 100% recycled materials
The berry brand will be the first in the UK to switch to punnets made from 100% recycled materials

Scottish berry supplier Angus Soft Fruits has announced plans to work with its growers to eliminate over 150 tonnes of single use plastic a year.

The berry brand, which consists of 18 growers, will become the first in the country to switch to punnets made from 100 percent recycled materials.

It has successfully developed a punnet that is both fully recyclable and made from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).

PET is considered a highly recyclable plastic, however the food industry has found it hard to collect clean, high quality plastics that can re-enter the cycle as food-grade containers.

Angus Soft Fruits supplies most of the leading supermarkets in the UK and last year, produced enough deliciously sweet berries to fill over 42 million plastic punnets.

The company is also working to achieve a 5-10 percent gauge reduction across all Waddington Europe punnets.

Sustainability coordinator Catherine Russell said: “We have ambitious sustainability plans here at Angus Soft Fruits across packaging, carbon emissions, biodiversity and food waste.

“Previously our punnets were made from 80% recycled materials as it has always been a challenge for the food industry to find sufficient volumes of clean, high-quality plastics that can be recycled and enter the market as food grade containers.

"We’re pleased that our long-term suppliers, Waddington Europe, have achieved this and we look forward to working closely with them to continue to promote circularity in soft fruit packaging."

The berry brand is also looking to increase the monitoring of food waste and carbon emissions on its farms as well as significantly reduce food waste.

"Ultimately, we want to be net zero throughout our supply chain, from grower to customer, by 2040 and we want to share the best practices that we develop with our overseas growers," Ms Russell said.

"Moving our punnets sold in the UK to 100% rPET is a step in the right direction to achieving these goals.”