Stripping out more than 170 m pieces of plastic for industry, supermarkets, and online retailers

DS Smith has made strong progress against its plastic replacement targets as part of its Half Year Financial update to the market. The company reported 170 million pieces of problem plastic had been replaced by its paper-based solutions for supermarkets and online retailers around the world since the launch of its Now and Next Sustainability strategy last year.

The company has removed on average more than 2 million pieces of single use plastic a week from its customers packaging and store display products – equivalent to 12,000 pieces an hour – boosting their customers’ packaging recyclability and reducing the impact on the environment.

Miles Roberts, Group Chief Executive at DS Smith, said, “We are working with our customers to replace more than one billion pieces of problem plastic with fully recyclable, fibre-based packaging solutions by 2025. Consumers are increasingly demanding less waste from their products, and we are embracing this agenda for change to protect the planet and create a more sustainable future.”

With British businesses facing a new plastic packaging tax which is set to raise almost £1 bn in revenue by 2025, DS Smith has created more than 1000 wholly recyclable fibre-based packaging solutions for hundreds of thousands of products for both traditional and e-commerce retailers – covering everything from wine boxes and ready-meal trays to shrink wrap and fresh fruit punnets. Research commissioned by DS Smith showed that 1.5 million tonnes of single use plastic, or 70 billion units, could be removed from supermarket shelves across Europe each year and replaced with alternative renewable and fully recyclable materials. The potential opportunity to fill this market could be worth £5.7 bn a year to the corrugated packaging industry.

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