Food and drink manufacturers in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire are being urged to take advantage of free advice about the latest developments in sustainable packaging ahead of new regulations which are expected to come into force in two years.
Reform of the UK packaging EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) system is likely to be introduced in 2023, along with a Plastic Packaging Tax and experts at the Food Innovation Centre say now is the time to look into the sustainable packaging options that are available. They have drafted a fact sheet to help manufacturers choose the sustainable packaging that best suits their products.
Free bespoke sustainable packaging advice and support is available to eligible SMEs under the Driving Research and Innovation project – a three-year project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the D2N2 LEP. The project is run by the Food Innovation Centre based at the University of Nottingham.
Food Innovation Centre
The team at the Food Innovation Centre have worked with a range of SMEs in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to offer advice on ways to introduce sustainable packaging, including most recently a tea company and a food delivery business.
“Consumers are asking for a reduction in packaging and more sustainable options, so it makes good business sense to cut the environmental impact of packaging, as well as being the ethical thing to do,” said Daniele, who works at the Food Innovation Centre.
“If you start looking at the sustainable options available now and you know that in the future you want to switch to a more sustainable choice, you can incorporate any additional costings into your business plan.”
The fact sheet drafted by the Food Innovation Centre outlines the pros and cons of some of the key packaging materials used by the food and drink sector, such as glass, metal, paper and cardboard, plastic, composite and bio-plastic.
Richard Worrall, who runs the Food Innovation Centre, based at the Bioenergy and Brewing Science building at the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus, said: “Our role is to support food and drink SMEs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire with a range of expertise to help them grow and develop. Sustainable packaging is high on the environmental agenda and we are delighted that Daniele D’Agostino, who is an expert in sustainable packaging, is part of our team offering help to local food and drink manufacturers.”
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