AD Circular: Partnering to reduce food packaging waste
Packaging waste is a growing problem and subject to upcoming legislation within Europe. Key ways to tackle the problem include reducing waste, boosting recycling, and reducing the need for natural resources by increasing the supply and use of recycled materials. At Avery Dennison, we’re contributing to the solution by reducing waste in our own operations and by supporting our supply chain partners to reduce their waste as well.
One of the ways we’re doing this is with AD Circular, our pioneering program which enables the recycling of used PET and glassine label liners in countries across Europe. We collect used liners and work with trusted partners to recycle and transform them into high-value items, working together to create a circular economy where nothing goes to waste.
One of our program partners is Western Brand. They are one of Ireland’s largest producers of locally farmed primary and free-range chicken products and are our first fully active partner in Ireland. They work with our customer and a leading advocate for the program, The Watershed Group, Ireland’s largest privately owned producer of innovative, best-in-class labeling and packaging solutions for the food, beverage, consumer, pharma, and retail sectors and many of Europe’s leading brands.
We spoke with Colm Drugan, Western Brand’s Environmental Manager, and Liz Waters, CEO of Watershed Group, about the impact AD Circular has had on each company’s sustainability initiatives and goals.
Question to Western Brand: Describe your role within the company.
My role as Environmental Manager is ultimately to reduce and avoid any impacts that our company may have on the natural environment. This includes minimizing our carbon emissions, reducing our waste to landfill, maximizing recycling, and driving energy and resource efficiency across the business.
Question to Watershed: Describe your role within the company.
As Group CEO, a key part of my role is to live in the future. It’s my responsibility to lead the way to ensure that our customers are future-proofed in a range of areas: supply chain, innovation, CapEx investment into the latest sustainable printing technology, and increasingly, and most importantly, sustainability goals. By promoting the sustainability agenda, Watershed Group can help brands create shared value with their customer bases and enable them to find the latest innovative processes to do that.
Question to Western Brand: Describe the challenge you were facing that led you to join AD Circular.
Finding an outlet for the various waste streams from our packing operation has been a challenge. Although many of the materials we use, such as paper/cardboard and some plastics, are readily recyclable, some of our waste materials are not yet recyclable and therefore end up being landfilled. Until now, our glassine label liners were not recyclable.