As a global manufacturer, supplier and retailer we take very seriously our responsibility to consider the environmental impact of all aspects of our business.
A key priority is our continued focus on moving away from single use plastics in both our packaging and products, and reviewing all POS and merchandising with an environmentally conscious scrutiny is an ongoing and urgent process
We are mindful that our efforts to reduce our impact on the planet must be based on improvements in materials, process and practice which have a positive and proven impact on the environment and offer a genuine contribution to the goal of a more sustainable future.
We have a role to play as a businesses to ensure that plastic doesn't end up in the natural environment – we are taking expert advice to help us make the right decisions on sourcing, transporting and packaging our products as well as promoting positive recycling behaviours to help our customers recycle more effectively and more often.
COMMITMENT TO CHANGE
We support the collective aim of the UK Plastics Pact , led by WRAP and are following their guidance to ensure we improve recyclability across all of our packaging.
Our Packaging targets By 2025
Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging 100% of plastics packaging to be reusable, or recyclable 70% of plastics packaging effectively recycled 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.
We support a circular economy model that enables materials to reused or recycled over and over again. This eliminates waste and reduces the environmental impact of packaging – as long as strong recycling and waste management systems are in place.
Flexible plastic packaging represents a nearly a quarter of all UK consumer plastic packaging - but only 6% is currently recycled .
Steps have been made nationally to move us in the right direction with recent developments in new recycling infrastructure but unfortunately there is a still a long way to go in the UK – we are currently one of only 3 countries in Europe where plastic film is not collected routinely from consumers for recycling.
DRIVING LONG TERM PROGRESS
We have audited all our packaging, across all brands, and identified areas where this could be improved to minimise the impact on environments across world.
We are continuing to conduct full life cycle assessments to determine the environmental impact of all our products – including source material, packaging and potential for reuse or recycling by the customer.
In certain circumstances plastic packaging remains the most effective option for some of our products, in terms of function and carbon footprint, when compared to other packaging material.
Plastic is versatile, lightweight, flexible and highly durable where it is used and managed carefully to avoid it ending up in our oceans, where it causes harm to the environment, or in landfills where its value is lost.
The way to stop this happening is to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
Tildenet are committed to using plastic that is easily recyclable and has recycled content whenever possible - We are actively working to reduce the amount of single use and virgin plastic in our supply chain.
Banning all plastic packaging without finding suitable alternative materials can have unintended consequences. We have been cautious not to adopt changes that may in time prove to be less of a solution than they first appear – compostable plastics have been a good example of a well intentioned change that has ultimately been withdrawn by many companies following concerns about its environmental viability.
Many companies are choosing to switch to paper or cardboard instead of plastic packaging to become more sustainable – however this is not always a simple choice and can come with its own environmental issues.
For example, cardboard production is water intensive, generates emissions and runs the risk of encouraging deforestation if not sourced sustainably - cardboard can also be difficult to recycle if contaminated and can only be reused on average four times.
Paper products take substantial amounts of energy to produce - making the paper and cardboard production process one of the top five industrial global users of energy.
When considered over the entire life of the packaging, paper and cardboard account for more greenhouse gases than their plastic equivalents. (Quote source)
Secondly many paper and cardboard products end up in local authority landfill, where they rot down anaerobically, creating the greenhouse gas methane in the process.
By contrast, plastic is light, durable and its manufacture is generally not particularly energy intensive – at least by comparison to paper – and it doesn't rot meaning it sequesters its carbon for ever.
The argument for plastic over cardboard will continue in years to come and there is room for both in the packaging market.
However, what’s most important is that they can both be recycled and kept out of our seas. Recycling and reusing both types of packaging has proven to be the most effective way to minimise carbon footprint and protect the environment.
Tildenet proudly supports the World Land Trust by using ‘carbon balanced’ paper in its handy pack header cards and propagation labels.
Our handy pack header cards alone balance the equivalent of up to 500kg of carbon dioxide and protect up to 100 square metres of critically threatened tropical forest every month
Furthermore, our product labels and header cards are FSC accredited and use vegetable-based ink, resulting in 100% recyclable packaging across the entire handy pack and propagation range.
We continue to seek ways to reduce any excess packaging - plastic or otherwise - where this does not compromise the quality of our products and the alternative has a proven positive environmental impact
1. A range of hemp pots that are made from sustainable hemp fibre and stitched with cotton. They are plastic-free and fully biodegradable and home compostable after use.
2. Rootrainers that are made from at least 70% recycled material with a new green colour allowing them to be recycled more easily.
3. Vigoroot pots and planters that are made from recycled polyester from PET bottles and clothing fabric.
4. A comprehensive range of garden and refuse sacks made from 100% recycled polythene sourced from UK farms.
5. Biodegradable raffia, a traditional tying and craft material.
6. Header cards printed with vegetable based inks on sustainably sourced card.
7. A bamboo range made from sustainable bamboo fibre, rice starch and resin made from naturally occurring organic compounds that is free from petroleum-based plastics and BPA
8. 100% natural jute fibre is used to make vegetable bags, netting and other products.
9. Sustainable and recyclable packaging materials.
10. Our peat free pots are FSC accredited and made from 100% recycled paper - 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable.
11. A selection of GrowLite coir products that are 100% peat free and a sustainable alternative to traditional compost.
12. Our core propagation products are made from at least 95% recycled plastic.
13. Responsibly sourced wooden and bamboo plant labels.
14. We offer a wide range of biodegradable twine and string.
15. Our large range of ornamental pots and planters are made from 100% waste plastic.
Customer Information – Spreading the message
We are improving communication with our customers, via redesigned packaging and point-of-sale signage about what materials we use in our packaging and adding easy to understand information on how it can be re-used or recycled
SUPPLY CHAIN - Raising expectations
We are placing an expectation on our suppliers that they are transparent about their own environmental policies and are reviewing our supply chains on this basis.
OUR OWN ENVIRONMENT - Playing our Part
We recycle paper and plastic in our offices and warehouses, have implemented energy saving measures and reduced business travel significantly across the company.
We have begun to introduce electric vehicles into our fleet, offer vehicle charging to our staff and run a Cycle to Work scheme to help our team make environmentally conscious travel choices.
Tildenet are committed to investment in developing robust improvements in sustainability across the whole group and will continue to work with industry experts to ensure that we help to deliver long term progress in this crucial area.