As a food company producing snacks for consumers across the UK and internationally, we recognise that we have both a significant impact and an opportunity to make a positive difference to the natural world.

We’ve focused our efforts on reducing our use of packaging, cutting energy and water use, and driving down all kinds of waste.

This work is driven through a wide range of active projects across our UK operation as well as internationally in partnership with our parent company, Intersnack.

As a responsible food manufacturer, we recognise that our business and value chain have a significant impact on the natural world. In turn, we are inherently reliant on a stable climate and thriving ecosystems. We have made significant headway in reducing our environmental impact and are now looking at how we can further embed natural capital considerations into how we do business.

Packaging – Our Commitments

We all know that snack bags can be a problem when it comes to recycling.  Though they keep our snacks fresh and delicious, the nature of the plastic/foil film means you can’t yet put them in your normal domestic recycling stream since the infrastructure to recycle this material is not currently available at scale in the UK.

As signatories to the UK Plastics Pact, we have pledged that by 2025:

  • 100% of our plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable
  • 70% of plastic packaging will be effectively recycled
  • We will have 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

We are taking multiple steps to help us achieve this, through:

  • Reducing the amount of flexible packaging we use in the first place
  • Re-designing our packaging to be recyclable
  • Partnering with external organisations to allow people to recycle their packs in a number of ways until household recycling becomes available
  • Working to influence UK-wide infrastructure change to make flexible packaging recyclable at scale via domestic recycling streams.

Our Strategy: Reducing the amount of packaging we use

In the first instance, we continuously work to use less packaging, including cutting the amount of plastic film we use to make snack packs and reducing our use of distribution packaging. By reengineering the shape and size of our snack bags, we have cut the amount of plastic required to make them.

We have removed 760 tonnes of plastic packaging from our range since 2018, equivalent to some 216 million packs.

In 2021, we removed 370T of plastic, of which:

  • 65T from Hula Hoops
  • 197T from flow wrap snacks like Space Raiders, Skips and Nik Naks
  • 73T from McCoy’s

In 2022 we will remove an additional 120T of plastic across popchips, Pom-Bear and Tyrrells, taking our total to 880 Tonnes since 2018, which is the equivalent of approximately a quarter of a billion packets or the weight of 62 double decker buses.

Our Strategy: Recycling Partnerships

As a responsible food manufacturer, we are committed to supporting the development of  UK infrastructure that is able to collect, sort and recycle flexible plastic packaging at scale, with the long term aim to close the loop on this material and enable us to turn crisp packets back into new crisp packets. This is an industry-wide challenge, and therefore one we cannot solve alone; our strategy is focused on collaborating with others across our industry and value chain to drive the investment and change needed to realise our ambitions.

Our Nuts, Popcorn, Crisps and Pretzels Packets recycling programme, in partnership with TerraCycle began in 2019.  Visit the website to learn how you can recycle your packs with TerraCycle and earn recycling rewards.

Building on our Terracycle partnership, in 2021, KP Snacks joined the Flexible Plastic Fund, a collaborative fund which aims to investigate ways to develop and stimulate collection and recycling of flexible plastics at scale. As part of this, we have also invested in the Flex Collect trial. Launched in May 2022, in partnership with a number of volunteer local authorities between 2022 and 2025, the Flexible Plastic Fund Flex Collect project will undertake a series of innovative pilots to understand how to collect flexible plastic packaging at scale through existing  household collection streams.

To further incentivise the wider collection of our consumer packaging, we are now part of the On-Pack Recycling Label programme (OPRL) with the aim of driving consumer awareness that snack packets can be brought back to supermarkets for recycling through Front of Store collection schemes at many large stores nationwide.

The label will start to appear on the back of our packs at the end of 2022. You can find your nearest supermarket flexible plastic recycling locations to recycle crisp packets on RecycleNow’s Locator tool.

We continue to explore new partnerships and collaborations to support the development of a circular plastics economy.

 

Driving down waste

KP has signed up to the United Nations Champions 12.3 Network and committed to reduce all food waste in our manufacturing sites by 50% by 2030. See our Food Waste Reduction Roadmap report.

100% of our factory food waste is already either recycled into animal feed, where its calorific content adds value back into the food chain, or it’s re-used in other creative ways (such as starch from potato processing, which has various industrial uses).

All KP factories have been zero waste to landfill since 2012 but numerous projects continue to drive down our total waste, with the aim of a reduction of at least 5% every year. In 2018 we achieved an overall reduction of 13% and in 2019 a further 5.52%

Cut out food waste

Total food produced by KP: 104,206 tonnes

  • Waste as a % of production: 5.5%
  • Waste to animal feed: 5,754 tonnes per year
  • Overall food waste produced: 0 tonnes

Use less water

We want to reduce the water we use in production.  McCoy’s in Teesside is our heaviest water user – it’s our biggest factory and processes raw potatoes for crisps.  So, we installed a water treatment plant at Teesside which now recycles more than half a million cubic metres of water a year.  All our factories also have rainwater harvesting equipment which we use to flush the loos.  So far, these measures have helped cut our overall use of water by over 70%.

Road miles

By packing smaller, putting more products on a pallet, sending snacks direct to our retailer customers (rather than via a hub) and making sure every vehicle is fully laden, we significantly cut both transport costs and our environmental footprint.

In 2021 we will need 644 fewer lorry journeys to deliver Skips, Nik Naks and Space Raiders!

Palm Oil

We have set ourselves the long-term goal of eliminating palm oil from the direct ingredients list of our products. For those limited items where palm oil is currently still an ingredient, we only use RSPO segregated or mass balance sustainable palm oil.

Potatoes

We have developed a sustainability index which gives us insights into the current sustainability performance of our grower base, and highlights opportunities to improve the sustainability of this key raw material going forwards.

Energy reduction

We have cut our CO2 emissions by over 30% since 2007 and apply our ISO 50001 accreditation at all sites to identify further opportunities. In 2019 we achieved a 10.5% reduction in energy use across our business over the previous year. From LED lighting everywhere to more efficient transport and distribution, it’s a process of continuous improvement.