Sustainability works best when it’s a mixture of innovation and environment. That’s especially true for our packaging efforts in the UK as we enhance customer experience and product sustainability credentials through reduced or optimised packaging, different solutions and using alternative materials. Since 2005 we’ve done a lot of work in our food business; reducing unnecessary packaging, designing resealable packs and creating more single use portions to reduce food waste. In fact, we’ve eliminated 28 percent of our food packaging by weight and achieved a further 12 percent in terms of carbon impact.
For the past couple of years we’ve been working hard with our general merchandise business and the removal of toy packaging wire ties is a great example of the collaboration between sustainability and innovation in order to improve customer experience.
Inspired by the achievements of the U.S. toy team, which has already eliminated wire ties from the toys they sell; at the beginning of this year the team at ASDA (Greg Alder – Packaging, Steph Strike & The ASDA Toy trading team, Chiu Wong – Technical) challenged themselves to eliminate the wire ties used to secure toy products to their packaging. This wasn’t going to be easy as the team wanted to achieve this simultaneously across both private label and branded toy products. The objectives had two main benefits: customer experience and sustainability. By removing wire ties which are hard to cut through, the team aimed to reduce the frustration experienced by parents in freeing the products when their children were keen to play. Additionally, the team would adopt more sustainable product fixing solutions such as paper rattan tie down which comes from a renewable source and can be recycled.
This Christmas, no toy sold at ASDA (whether branded or private label) uses wire ties, and they will not in our future ranges. In eliminating wire ties across toys alone we have reduced UK metal waste destined for landfill by over 80 tons per annum. This makes us the first UK retailer to achieve this target; and we’d like to extend a ‘thank you’ to all our supplier partners that made this possible.