News | Published November 11 2019

Speciality Breads showcase perfect green model for government’s new environment bill

The government’s new environment bill introduced earlier in the year could prove a turning point on plastic usage in the UK, with businesses having to adapt to fall in line with its requirements.

The bill, which prime minister Boris Johnson called a 'landmark' piece of legislation, will introduce 'legally binding targets' to reduce plastic usage. It includes a deposit return scheme for drinks bottles, powers to penalise producers of plastic packaging by making them foot the bill of cleaning it up, as well as more consistent collection of household recyclable waste.

Charges may also be introduced on single-use plastics, which has raised concern among environment campaigners that bigger companies may switch to other materials such as glass, which could prove more harmful.

However, some industry giants have pledged to pull their weight. Sainsbury’s, for example, promised to cut its plastic usage by 50 per cent in 2025. Yet, how introduction of such stringent measures may affect smaller businesses is an issue that will more than likely come up for debate in parliament.

However, with the environment bill in its current state, the government will have until the year 2037 for any targets the bill lays out, to be met.

Yet some businesses are ahead of the curve and showing more ambition than the bill in its current form. Speciality Breads, a firm from Margate, Kent, discussed how their business model comes with its own heady green targets in The Parliamentary Review.

Managing director Simon Cannell wrote: “We are a company that is fully environmentally aware. While some businesses are making claims of removing all single-use plastic from their business, this does not appear to be possible with current technology and could even risk increasing food waste.

“Therefore, we are laying out some tough but achievable targets.”

These targets include a commitment to reduce the company’s consumption of single use plastic by 50 per cent between 2018 and 2020, as well as exclusively using recyclable or recycled packaging.

Other green measures, which Cannell describes include introducing 'solar cooling' to 'improve the efficiency' of the firm’s refrigeration systems, alongside making all company cars either hybrid or electric.

It has also set out an ambitious target of sending none of its waste to landfill by 2020.

These targets go beyond even that which campaign groups such as Greenpeace are calling for. They wish to see measures put in place to oblige businesses to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics by 50 per cent by the year 2025.

For all the uncertainty surrounding what the government’s green targets for plastics may look like, Speciality Breads presents an ideal model to aspire to for those who want to get ahead of the game.

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The Parliamentary Review

November 11 2019

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