UK – DS Smith has announced the removal of over 313 million pieces of problem plastics in the last two years as part of its plastic replacement program.

The figure equates to more than three million units per week, as customers and consumers demonstrate demand for fiber-based packaging as an alternative to hard-to-recycle plastics, DS Smiths says.

The e-commerce packaging specialist says it will continue to drive the adoption of fiber-based alternatives among customers in response to consumer demand for plastic alternatives.

To meet consumer demands, DS Smith designers and customers have cooperated to create thousands of alternatives to replace plastic in product packaging.

This includes the removal of plastic in everyday items from ready-meal trays to plastic fruit and vegetable punnets and plastic six-pack rings that contribute to the pollution of the planet.

Over the next year, the organization says it will continue to drive the adoption of fiber-based alternatives amongst customers in response to consumer demand for plastic alternatives.

According to Innova Market Insights, nearly 35% of consumers in the UK would purchase products that contain less plastic even if it costs more than a similar product with regular packaging.

As part of DS Smith’s Now & Next sustainability targets, the company has the ambition to take one billion pieces of problem plastics off supermarket shelves, replacing them with corrugated alternatives.

DS Smith’s sustainability progress – including its 29% reduction in GHG emissions per metric ton of production – is not limited to the plastic replacement schemes.

The company presents a statistic of achieving 100% recyclable or reusable packaging this year.

In addition, the company also researched oversized packaging and found that it is exacerbating climate change and damaging brand perception.

Their research showed that excess packaging generates 86,071 metric tons of unnecessary CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to nearly 5 million online delivery journeys.

Sustainability Business Partner – Sales, Marketing & Innovation, Samantha Upham, said: “With our help, customers are accelerating their ambitions to remove problem plastics from their products.

“By using our Circular Design Metrics, we can easily show not just where plastic can be replaced, but how circular their packaging is right now and where we can make improvements together.”

Upham adds that 700 DS Smith designers have been trained in circular design principles. This training means that they can design out problem plastics at the inception stage and find alternative fiber-based solutions that deliver the required attributes.

Liked this article? Subscribe to our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s packaging and printing industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.