The population and the businesses that feed us are becoming more switched on to the environmental impact of single-use plastics. Phew. Sainsbury’s recently pledged to halve their plastic packaging by 2025. And the other major supermarket chains have also got plastic reduction or alternatives firmly in their sights. Now, more than ever, the pressure on their suppliers to provide innovative solutions is well and truly on.
The drive to reduce plastic is focused on a combination of more transparent recycling, the use of compostable alternatives, or just cutting it out wherever possible.
Plastic is a light, durable, flexible, airtight and mouldable material. And whilst it’s becoming demonised in society, its contribution to the supply chain efficiency shouldn’t be overlooked. For example, short-life products like meat can last 10 days longer they’re plastic wrapped. Cucumbers last 14 days longer. And bananas last 3 days longer.
These efficiencies and food waste reductions have arguably gone some way to mitigate the environmental impact of the packaging. But with the global impact plastic pollution is having, and public concern rising, it feels as though the days of plastic are numbered.
The race to provide alternatives and improve recycling through innovation is supported by UK government initiatives such as Research and Development (‘R&D’) incentives relief. This valuable relief can provide UK companies with up to 33p per £1 invested in time and materials invested on innovation.
Many food suppliers and waste recycling companies are constantly trying to provide new materials, solutions, and improved processes to contribute to the solution. They’re the businesses the government wants to reward and fuel with the relief, which provides cash windfalls to re-invest in more people, more equipment and more plant to continue their endeavours.
Is your business part of the solution? Are you striving to find improvements, some of which may be successful and some of which fail? If so, R&D incentives relief is available to help you in this quest. And it shouldn’t be overlooked.
The R&D incentives team at Cooper Parry have advised both Food and Waste management businesses and successfully claimed large sums to enable them to progress their work. If you’d like an informal chat to discuss this further and find out how this can benefit your business, we’d love to hear from you.