Hovis’ new recycling plan- and why you should follow suit

When people say the word Hovis, the first thing that comes to their mind probably isn’t recycling. However, the people at Hovis have made a big step with a partnership with Terracycle, aiming to bring forth a packaging recycling initiative, named the “Bread Bag Recycling Programme.”

This aims to create a network of public access recycling points across the entirety of the UK. The two companies have invited community groups, charities, schools, local businesses and individual civilians to put in place collection locations for used plastic bread bags. These will be sent free of charge to Terracycle for efficient recycling, with them being shredded into pellets or flakes to be used in the creation of public benches and outdoor furniture.


The Recycling

Hovis’ bread bags are 100% recyclable, as are the LDPE plastic bags used by all other bread company’s bags, and used bags can be easily placed in any retailer’s plastic bag collection points. The recyclability of them has been made even more easy for those that were uneducated on this, since the company added clearer recycling instructions to the bags in October 2018 to help drive up recycling numbers. Despite this, 31% of people remain unsure of what can be recycled and because of this, don’t recycle the plastic according to the guidelines left by the bread producer. Hovis have also noted that only 10% of local authorities recycle bread bags at this time, further hindering the campaign to increase recycling. This includes plastic bags for frozen food, pet foods, confectionary, cereal boxes and toilet rolls, according to the recycling charity Recoup.

In fact, the initiative to put in place the Bread Bag Recycling Programme was the discovery that local authorities incinerated 3.5 billion bread bags each year.

By allying with Terracycle, Hovis hopes to improve the ease of recycling bread bags and cut down the plastic entering the waste stream. Public concern over unprocessed plastic waste has been a major motivator behind Hovis’ desires help boost recycling in the UK as a whole. Terracycle has also done similar partnerships with companies in the past such as Walkers, Pringles, Whiskas and Colgate.

This scheme is part of a larger environmental measure in alliance with the UK Plastic Pact.


How companies can learn from Hovis

Hovis’ scheme is not just a big step for the company itself, but for businesses in general when it comes to waste management. By putting so much importance on the recycling of its produce, Hovis can both save money in producing new items and stay in line with newer recycling regulations.

The Duty of Care in waste legislation places a large responsibility on any company that produces waste, so finding ways in which to dispose of or, better yet, renew the waste products such as plastic is highly important to stay in line with it.

Along with the practical nature of not wasting the plastic produced by a company, it is also a way to boost public image of a company. On average, more people will be inclined to support a company considerate enough to think of the environment.

This would then lead into communities being more likely to help out in a similar recycling scheme and allow for your business to prosper.

With the public and financial advantages of increasing your company’s recycling, it seems many businesses ought to take a page out of Hovis’ book in how they handle the recycling of their products.


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