Nation’s favourite breakfast maker outlines sustainability progress

Weetabix Food Company has reduced its plastic use by 6 percent in the last year, with 92 percent of its packaging now fully recyclable. 

The results are shown in the company’s second sustainability report, which outlines its commitment to supporting people, society and the environment through its British, locally sourced products.

Plastic reduction has been driven by creating smaller wrappers for Alpen Light bars, saving 24 tonnes of plastic per year, and removing 28 percent of plastic in its Weetabix wrappers, saving 102 tonnes of plastic per year. The company is also on track to reduce the carbon footprint of its packaging by 20 percent in the next year. 

In 2020, Weetabix On The Go redesigned its bottles to make them 100 percent recyclable so that the bottle, cap and sleeve can be recycled together. The breakfast drink also moved to a clear PET bottle, which is made from 30 percent recycled plastic, with scope to bring that up to 50 percent or higher in the future. 

Weetabix’s sustainability report focuses on four key areas; sustainable ingredients; low-impact packaging; efficient operations and health and wellbeing. 

A key development under the sustainable ingredients pillar is the achievement of RSPO certification for palm oil, with UTZ certified cocoa to follow.  

The efficient operations pillar has been boosted by the opening of the new state-of-the-art factory in Corby, which uses 50 percent less energy than the previous facility. A full time Energy Manager has been hired to focus on reducing carbon footprint, whilst the company maintained its zero waste to landfill record that it has held since 2016. 

John Petre, Supply Chain and Technical Director, who leads the Weetabix Sustainability Steering Group said: “We’ve made great progress in the past year through challenging times. We are building on a heritage of responsible, sustainable business that goes right into the DNA of this organisation. 

“We’re committed to supporting our local community, our people and our customers, whether that’s sourcing all the wheat for Weetabix original from within a 50 mile radius of our factory in Burton Latimer or reducing the impact of our packaging and our carbon footprint. 

“It’s heartening to see how invested our employees are in the sustainability of our business, and while there are many challenges ahead, one thing for certain is that we won’t change our focus and commitment to our sustainability goals in the years ahead.” 

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