Returnable plastic crates, boxes and pallets could save Scottish fish farms countless thousands of pounds a year by substantially reducing waste.
PPS, a company headed by two Scots that supplies and washes plastic sustainable crates to fish, poultry, fruit and vegetable suppliers, believes the aquaculture sector in Scotland can greatly reduce its carbon footprint through the use of returnable plastic boxes instead of single-use, polystyrene ones.
The message follows a PPS-commissioned study showing that the carbon footprint of the company’s plastic crates was:
• 52 per cent smaller than single-use cardboard boxes
• 89 per cent smaller than polystyrene boxes
And it comes at a time when major supermarket chains and international companies are signing up for the fight for sustainability in the retail food supply chain through the Courtauld Commitment Phase 2 programme, a responsibility deal organised by waste advisory body WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme.)
“Businesses such as fish farms can transport their goods with re-usable boxes, crates and pallets.
“We deliver these products, collect them after delivery, wash them and then return them for another round of use,” said PPS director, Iain McArthur.
“We have a solid track record and experience in the returnable crates sector.
“If the aquaculture industry – and any fresh food producers for that matter – in Scotland can be persuaded to switch from polystyrene to re-usable plastic crates it will benefit them financially and reduce their carbon footprint.
“Of that, there is no doubt and, as our report shows, switching to returnable packaging could result in a cost saving of around 40 per cent.
“Our core business is to promote the green advantages of using plastic returnable crates instead of one-way trip cardboard boxes and today the major supermarket chains are becoming more and more involved in the drive to use returnable packaging in the food supply chain.
“The motivation and, ultimately, the deciding factor in a switch from one-way trip cardboard boxes is that using returnable packaging is cost-effective. In other words it works financially.”
Edinburgh-registered PPS recently won its first contract involving a Grieg Seafood Hjaltland salmon farm.
In a six-figure deal with Belgian company Levenstond Seafood, PPS delivers clean crates for operations at the Shetland-based seafarm, whose Scottish salmon products are supplied by Levenstond to Belgium’s leading supermarkets.
PPS currently has contracts with businesses in Scotland but is actively pushing to expand its operations in the country.
The Phase 2 targets of Courtauld Commitment include reducing the carbon impact of grocery packaging by 10 per cent and the traditional grocery product and packaging waste in the grocery supply chain by 5 per cent.
This new agreement also aims to achieve a 10 per cent reduction in the carbon impact of grocery packaging between April 2010 and December 2012, compared to 2009 baseline levels.
WRAP said it aimed to achieve this goal by reducing the weight of grocery packaging and increasing its recycled content, as well as increasing recycling rates for the waste stream to achieve a 1.1 million tonne reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.
Its target is to reduce traditional grocery product and packaging waste across the grocery supply chain by 5 per cent of 2009 levels by December 2012.