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New Recyclability Forum tackles industry’s recyclability challenges

Some of the brightest minds from across our business are now joining together regularly at our Recyclability Forum to help solve some of DS Smith’s and wider industry’s biggest recyclability challenges, such as hard-to-recycle packaging, changing legislation, industry guidelines, and meeting our customers sustainability goals. This as well as steering our own packaging designers towards more sustainable and more recyclable solutions.

With the clock ticking on climate change, tougher recycling targets across the globe, and a growing demand from consumers for more sustainable packaging, we have formed our new Recyclability Forum.

The Forum is a cross-divisional platform where our experts and decision makers can steer our positions on a range of recyclability topics. It will coordinate the way we engage with our customers, external packaging producers, legislators, and trade associations, with the goal to recycle more, waste less and help our customers commercialise sustainable packaging solutions.

The Forum will also help us meet the bold targets we have set in our Now & Next Sustainability Strategy and supports the leading role we are taking in the 4Evergreen alliance, which aims to improve the European recycling rate for fibre-based packaging to 90% by 2030; achieved through promotion of best practice in recyclability, design, sorting and collection, as well how future novel technologies could help in these areas.

Joined-up thinking - from inspiration to implementation

The opportunities and challenges examined by our Forum will be the catalyst for genuine innovation and change. It is coordinated by team members from our Sustainability, Innovation, Design, Marketing, Research & Development and Technical Operations Divisions.  

This broad mix of people from across our business will generate a seamless, two-way exchange of information and ideas, from offices, to recycling depots, to paper mills. New packaging concepts can be put through testing for recyclability in our newly refurbished lab at Kemsley, and technical advances in our mills can be fed directly to our design teams to make our circular design principles even more effective.

As well as tackling immediate tactical issues, our Recyclability Forum will steer our long-term strategies and future-proof our solutions for years to come. Supporting our company Purpose of ‘Redefining Packaging for a Changing World’.

We recognised the need to establish the cross-divisional Recyclability Forum to ensure that our internal position on recyclability is clear, and we can be consistent when discussing related topics with our partners, customers and the wider industry.

Jonathan Edmunds
Recyclability & Sustainability Manager

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Collaborative working will produce the next generation of packaging solutions

At DS Smith we have a proven record of innovation and leadership in our industry and internal and external partnerships are nothing new for us.

Partnership working combined with our vision and expertise have already helped us break new ground in areas such as food-on-the- go packaging, and taking millions of items of single-use plastic out of stores, replacing them with sustainable alternatives.  More recently, we’ve explored how seaweed fibres can be used as a raw material in paper and packaging, which project is part of our £100m Circular Economy R&D programme announced earlier this year.

The Recyclability Forum is fundamental to the conversations we are having with our customers and partners to develop fully circular strategies, from design to production and supply to recycling, creating positive impact packaging for our changing world

Alan Potts
Design & Innovations Director