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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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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!