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Sustainability tips for Easter

Springtime is a time of rebirth and regeneration for nature, but it can also be a time of unnecessary waste during the Easter holiday. Luckily, becoming more sustainable for our planet doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your chocolate treats or reducing the consumption of food this Easter. Instead, we provide you three sustainable solutions that can remarkably help reduce the impact of our environment, whilst digging into some tasty treats!

1. Indulge in palm oil free Chocolate

Palm oil is a vegetable oil sourced from oil palm trees, used as a cheap substitute in packaged foods. Harvesting palm oil has resulted in widespread deforestation, primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia. In turn, this has left elephants, orangutans and rhinos on the brink of extinction.

It is estimated that 98% of Indonesian forests will be gone in 5 years. As well as driving species extinction, deforestation on this scale is releasing huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, contributing directly to climate change.

Unfortunately, it is estimated that 50% of the products on our supermarket shelves include palm oil. However, one of the more popular Easter treats, chocolate, can be consumed free from palm oil. Whitakers have been providing us high-quality chocolate for over 130 years. Even better, every single chocolate Whitakers make are with palm free oil!

Treat yourself or someone special to a ‘Happy Easter’ (Palm oil free) chocolate bar!

Happy Easter Milk Chocolate Bar (90g) | Whitakers Chocolates

2. Compost Eggshells (Reduce your food waste)

Easter time means more eggshells lying around than usual. This Easter find alternative disposal methods for your food waste. For example if at home, you can compost eggshells, along with many other foods, to eventually produce soil to be used in your garden. If you don’t have space for a compost heap, ask your local council for a food waste bin.

Alternatively, why not introduce your business to a specialist food waste collection and disposal service. Grundon Waste Management offer a dedicated food waste service where collected food waste is sent to Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facilities. At the AD facilities, naturally occurring organisms break down the food waste to produce biogas, which is then converted into renewable electricity and fed into the National Grid; in addition to providing fertiliser which is used for agriculture and land regeneration.

This specialist process results in dramatically reducing our carbon footprint, allowing us to all become more sustainable for our planet.

Read more on how Grundon can reduce your carbon footprint and your costs.

Food Waste Collection & Recycling – Grundon

3. Avoid Egg-cessive packaging

We love packaging – but we know you can have too much of a good thing!

Did you know that each year, more than 8,000 tonnes of waste is generated just from Easter egg packaging and cards alone?

Using unnecessary materials & causing excessive waste is a big concern regarding the protection of our planet. With our right-sizing process we make sure our customers minimise packaging without compromising the performance or protection of your product.  

Read more on our packaging reduction process.

Packaging Reduction – Weedon Group – Packaging Solutions

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Sustainability tips for Mother’s Day

It’s that time of the year where we show how much we love, care & appreciate our mums.

However, due to covid-19, things might pan out a little different this year. Every year, ranging from cards to roses, there are many gifts sent out to mums around the world at this time of the year. However, the downside to this, is that this results in huge amounts of CO2 emissions, paper and plastic packaging waste, often sent to landfill. This sounds like a negative response to Mother’s Day, but in actual fact there is no better opportunity than this year to even just consider an eco-friendlier gift to help protect our planet.

Here are some of our sustainable tips for you for Mother’s Day.

1.Ditch the Mother’s Day cards

Did you know that one greetings card produces an estimated 140g of carbon dioxide? This is a huge amount considering that billions of cards are sold worldwide every year. Unless you are extremely sentimental, you probably throw your cards away, or at least store them in a drawer that you only open once in a blue moon.

During covid-19, there has been a huge shift towards online e-commerce and particularly when discussing Mother’s Day cards, e-commerce has helped offer an eco-friendlier alternative to replace paper cards this year. There are now are several online eCard sites available that allows you to personalise & design your own paperless card. In addition to this, a paperless card means no impact on our environment!

If you are someone who has always sent a paper card & appreciates the physical presence of giving your mum a card, then why not make one yourself? A handmade card would be just as meaningful and thoughtful to design one yourself, which again would also play its part in reducing the damaging impact on our environment.  

2. Homemade jewellery

Most mother’s love jewellery. What better way to show appreciation of your mum on Mother’s Day by sending her a handmade personalised jewellery gift? Although these types of shops may be closed on your local high-street, there are a number of online handmade jewellery gift shops. A number of these handmade jewellery stores are highly ethical for the environment, with recyclable materials and eco-friendly gift jewellery/ gift boxes.

3. Eco-friendly flowers

Again, with your local florist most likely in temporary lockdown due to the pandemic, there are plenty of e-florists open online. Additionally, some of these e-florists offer eco-friendly flowers, that look just as beautiful as normal ones, but also help reduce the impact on our environment.

Eco-friendly & fair-trade flowers have a lower carbon footprint, use less water and protect our environment.

4. Reusable Coffee Cup

If your mum is a coffee lover then this would be a perfect gift this Mother’s Day. On average, over 7 million single use coffee cups are consumed each day worldwide. That equated to approximately 2.5 billion per year, at huge costs both financially and environmentally. A reusable coffee cup helps save the disposal of non-recyclable coffee cups that your mum may get through regularly.

5. Eco-friendly soaps

Natural handmade soaps protect the environment from poisoning it with the toxic chemicals contained in normal soaps. An eco-friendly company called Friendly Soap make their soaps using the cold process method ensuring all soap bars are kind to the skin & easy on the earth. Visit the friendly soap website for more products as they currently have a wide range of soaps perfect for a Mother’s Day gift this year!

Handmade soaps | Natural & clean beautifully with a velvety smooth lather. (friendlysoap.co.uk)

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Recycling Week Round-up

The aim of #RecyclingWeek is to increase awareness of the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling. In the Weedon Group, we are committed to environmental protection and sustainability. Everything we manufacture is 100% recyclable. All our manufactured corrugated packaging is 100% sustainable, so our products can be composted and are biodegradable.

All corrugated waste produced within our factory is sent for recycling (nothing goes to landfill!) and we use 100% natural inks which make this possible. At our Hednesford factory alone this year to date, we have recycled 1047.14 tonnes of corrugated waste.

We recognise that we have a responsibility to preserve, conserve and sustain the world we live in, both today and for the future, so sustainability is central to everything we do.

Our 2020 recycling summary

Earlier in the year we identified that LDPE 98/2 plastic film can be separated as a waste stream for recycling so we bought a stand-alone bailer specifically for this purpose. In the first 6 months of 2020 alone, we recycled 5 tons of plastic (equivalent to 5 Shire horses!), that would otherwise have gone to landfill, improving our carbon footprint in the process.

During August and September, we recycled just under half a tonne from the general waste stream.

Images: Baling in house (right), palletising on pallets (centre) and quantity (left).  

How we have adapted during COVID-19… and how it has improved our sustainability!

COVID-19 required us to make certain changes for safety reasons, which at the same time helped us to reduce waste at our Hednesford site still further.

We introduced wash stations in the main entrances to our factory. The additional blue paper towels used for drying created an extra 21 bags of rubbish a week and increased the need to empty the general waste skip more frequently. Now, by installing hot air driers alongside the wash stations, paper towels are no longer required, resulting in a reduction of waste and improving the working environment.

As part of everyday working practices in accordance with our BRC accreditation and to reduce our single use plastic consumption, everyone in our factory is provided with their own reusable water bottle! With over 100 people in our Hednesford factory alone, small changes can make big differences! Here are our (socially distanced) ladies doing their bit to save our planet!

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Weedon Group Partners with Flexi-Hex to Produce Revolutionary Sustainable Postal Packaging for Bottles

Flexi-Hex bottle packaging

The Weedon Group, the UK’s leading independent manufacturer of corrugated packaging, has joined forces with Flexi-Hex in the development of an innovative new Eco Bottle Packaging Kit, a sustainable solution for the safe shipping of individual bottles via courier or through the post.

Bottles are first wrapped in a Flexi-Hex sleeve which expands to form an impact-resistant protective honeycomb layer around the bottle. This is then inserted into a self-sealing pinch-top postal box, designed and manufactured by the Weedon Group, which protects the bottle by suspending and preventing movement during transportation.

Manufactured from eco-friendly corrugated board, the box’s clever design enables easy assembly, with a fold-in cushion to support the base of the bottle and flaps for closing. It has a pinch-top to lock the bottle in place for a snug, secure fit and is suitable for most sizes of bottle. ‘Peel & seal’ tape provides easy closure, making packaging a very quick and simple process.

The design has been adapted to provide Bottle Packaging Kits in three sizes, for the shipment of one, two or three bottles at a time.

The packaging offers other significant benefits throughout the supply chain including  streamlining the packaging system and a reduction in the number of breakages. The compact design means a reduction in the quantity of material used and the attractive style of the package, which can be customised for brand identity, adds value to the product.

Weedon Group Managing Director John Weedon comments:

“Flexi-Hex was founded by brothers, Sam and Will Boex, who recognised the impact that single use plastic was having on the marine environment. The company needed an outer box which would be quick and easy to assemble. It had to be adaptable for various sizes of bottles and to hold them safe and secure in transit.

“But the overriding requirement, in line with Flexi-Hex’s core policy of environmental protection, was that the boxes had to be 100% recyclable and manufactured from sustainable sources. Corrugated board was the obvious solution. Lightweight, compact and strong, our boxes are 100% sustainable and recyclable, with no plastic anywhere in the packaging. Our design ticks all the boxes.”

For further information, please contact:

John Weedon, Managing Director of the Weedon Group, on 01543 423838.