Robert Thompson will explain how the Co-op overcame challenges to increase the recyclability of own brand packaging lines from 46% in 2016 to 100% in 2021. The talk will cover how the Co-op overcame challenges in defining what ‘recyclable’ means, how they worked with over 300 suppliers to ensure the packaging of 3,000 own brand products was recyclable, how they became the market for their own recyclate, and how they developed a system for recycling flexible plastic films in store. Finally, Rob will look at future challenges regarding responsible material choices and climate change.
Rob leads the packaging sustainability strategy for own brand packaging within the Ethics, Sustainability and Policy team at Co-op Food. He has worked in packaging development for over 20 years with experience gained working in composite can manufacture, frozen food, soft drinks and retail. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and a fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.