Roberts Bakery has revealed that it has reduced plastic in its bread bags by 53% and is switching its core ranges into sustainably sourced paper, the first bakery brand in the UK to do this.
To mark the transition of Roberts Bakery switching its loaves from plastic packaging into new paper packaging, drones have taken to the skies above Cheshire.
Roberts Bakery managing director Stuart Spencer-Calnan will be speaking at The Recycling Event on 2 July about the steps Roberts Bakery is taking to make its packaging suitable for recycling. Book your tickets now: https://www.therecyclingevent.com/
Named the “Bread Arrows”, the drones performed an acrobatic display to mark the new paper bags hitting the shelves of 300 Tesco stores across the UK.
According to the company, UK bakeries produce 10,700 tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic annually, with most going to landfill or taken to specialist recycling points.
Roberts has said that it is the first bakery brand to design a bag that can be put into the paper or mixed recycling bin.
Its white and wholemeal sliced loaves are now packaged in the same paper bag as its Bloomer and Digestion Boost Bloomers ranges, taking the potential volume to eight million loaves, equating to 20% of the bakery’s annual production.
Roberts Bakery innovation director Alison Ordonez said: “Plastic is an increasingly important topic for us all. This latest development represents a big shift in beginning to address the problems it poses in the bread industry. But it’s not an easy task. Delivering fresh bread – of the quality that our consumers love – in a paper bag rather than plastic, is more challenging because you need the ‘preserving’ layer of plastic to keep the bread fresh.”
“Our vision is to become the next generation bakery, and we’ve taken the lead in developing packaging solutions first. It’s part of our ongoing journey to become 100% plastic-free. If we don’t start acting, there won’t be a next generation – we feel really strongly about that.”
This new bag has 53% less plastic than before and is made from sustainably sourced paper with a thin poly prop coating to ensure that the loaves stay fresh. The cost of the bread will remain the same, priced at £1.15.
The Recycling Association chief executive Simon Ellin said: “I welcome the progress made by Roberts bakery towards an eventual single material packaging solution for its bread. The team there has engaged with us on its plans to reduce the packaging from a predominantly plastic to paper-based option. It’s a great example of how manufacturing companies can work with the recycling supply chain to meet the needs of both. I look forward to maintaining the relationship with Roberts bakery and supporting them in their aim of developing predominantly paper-based packing for their bread.”
Roberts hopes that Tesco shoppers will do their bit and buy the new loaves “for good”.
The Bread Arrow drones will move from display to delivery mode in a series of follow-up bread drops to plastic free campaigners from Stockport to Stoke in the coming days.