New IGD heatmap highlights opportunities for supermarket packaging
As part of the food and consumer goods industry’s shared ambition to halve the environmental impact of the UK packaging system by 2030, IGD has launched a new heatmap report to highlight where the opportunities for action lie in UK supermarkets.
‘Packaging: Which supermarket categories have the biggest opportunities for action?’ is a free report that aims to help industry take action and refocus sustainability efforts on packaging solutions that have the greatest positive impact. IGD says looking at products and packaging categories that have a high environmental impact is key to meeting the industry ambition.
Interestingly, this comes in light of recent, but relatively small consumer criticism of Sainsbury’s recently new packaging for its mince, which was undertaken to reduce its use of hard plastic trays. The product is now presented in a vac pack.
The IGD report found:
- 50% of all supermarket packaging impacts are from beer, wine, spirits, non-alcoholic drinks, dairy and sauces
- 11% of all supermarket packaging impacts are from meat, fish and canned products
- 9% of all supermarket packaging impacts are from toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products
Each of the supermarket categories have been scored based on four environmental indicators: climate change, land use, water use and virgin resource use.
Mark Little, director of Sustainability Programmes at IGD, said: “In 2021, we brought together stakeholders from across the food and consumer goods industry to create a shared ambition – to halve the environmental impact of all packaging systems by 2030. Following this, last year we produced an insights report with industry which found that meeting the 2030 ambition will require at least a 20% reduction in the amount of packaging put on the market, an increase in recycled content and decarbonising the supply chain.
“Our latest report will provide insights helping businesses to target their action, which is key to driving positive change and meeting the ambition.”
In addition to the supermarket heatmap report, IGD has also created: How to make sustainable packaging choices: an interactive tool, a free online tool that supports those who design or purchase grocery packaging, to integrate sustainability into their decision-making using lifecycle thinking. Its purpose is to guide users through a series of questions, prompts and explanations to explore the key sustainability considerations at each stage of the packaging lifecycle.
Both the supermarket heatmap report and interactive tools are part of the next phase of IGD’s sustainable packaging work, following the launch of ‘Halving the environmental impact of the UK packaging system’ last year.