Hovis Introduces New Labelling to
Increase Bread Bag Recycling

The bread giant Hovis is introducing clearer labelling to make customers aware that its bread bags are 100% recyclable and to encourage them to recycle more. The new labels include clear communication to customers encouraging them to dispose of their bread bags at the plastic bag collection points located at most major supermarkets. The labelling also clearly indicates that the bread can be frozen to encourage customers to throw less food away. While the company is keen to encourage customers to recycle at designated collection points, it hopes that more local authorities will include plastic bags in their kerbside collections in the not so distant future. Hovis say that they are committed to sustainability and are working to reduce their own environmental impact and educate their customers.

The new labelling is just one step the company is taking to reduce its environmental impact. It has already introduced more efficient routes for its delivery vehicles, it was a signatory of the Climate Change Levy in 2017, and it’s working with Zero Waste Scotland to develop a project to reduce waste at their Hovis Glasgow bakery.

Hovis’ brand manager said it’s excited to reveal the new labelling as part of the company’s commitment to their sustainability agenda and protecting the environment.

Hovis carried out research which found that one third of people still find recycling difficult and confusing so the company want to encourage customers to take their bread bags to collection points at supermarkets; especially if their local authority doesn’t accept them as part of their kerbside recycling scheme. The company say that their bread bags are easy to recycle and that they want more people to join forces with them and recycle more plastic.

The problem with recycling plastic

Plastic is more difficult to sort and reprocess than other materials as there are around 50 different types. It is possible to recycle almost all plastics, but what you’ll actually be able to recycle depends on what facilities are available where you live.

Plastics that are tough to recycle include black plastic food trays which can’t be detected by the sorting machines in recycling facilities. Some yoghurt pots are now being made from polyethylene terephthalate, the same plastic that is used for plastic bottles, which makes them easier to recycle, but many are still made from polystyrene, which is not usually accepted in kerbside recycling.

Margarine tubs are often sent abroad for recycling as they are made from a range of different polymers which many UK recycling plants don’t have the technology for.

Some local authorities collect plastic bags and film but they are not easy to sort mechanically, so they can be very expensive to recycle.