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Press Release 10th March 2020

The UK’s £8 billion sandwich industry is to undertake a detailed study into how it can better help consumers recycle more sandwich packs. 

Following a meeting in London in February, the industry agreed to set up a broad working group, including manufacturers, retailers, packaging and recycling experts, with the aim of working collectively to review current packaging systems and how these can better be delivered to waste plants capable of recycling them.

Many of the retailers and manufacturers in the industry have already done a considerable amount of work in this area, in collaboration with packaging and recycling businesses.   The new OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) rules reflect much of this work and the Association understands that more than 75% of authorities are now able to recycle lined board sandwich packaging.

Nevertheless, work still needs to be done and the Association is keen to encourage the sharing of best practice.

One of the key considerations is the important role that packaging plays in helping to maintain shelf-life and avoid excessive food waste, which creates a much higher carbon footprint than the packs themselves. 

The Working Group aims to bring retailers and producers together with packaging suppliers and recyclers to share their experiences and knowledge.   One of the first tasks will be to draw up guidelines for the industry covering packaging and waste.

“Our industry has already done an enormous amount of work developing more eco-friendly packaging,” says the Director of the British Sandwich & Food to Go Association Jim Winship.   “We are totally committed to finding the best possible solutions to packaging but we are also governed by other considerations, particularly the need to ensure that packs fully protect the foods they contain.   The last thing we want is to create a bigger problem by shortening shelf-life and creating more food waste, which has a higher carbon footprint than packaging.   There are also moral and ethical issues about creating more food waste.

“Most sandwich packs are now recyclable if they are handled correctly and get into the correct waste streams.   We are keen to work with consumers to find ways to make it easier to ensure the packs get recycled.”

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For further information please contact Jim Winship, Director of the British Sandwich & Food to Go Association on 07850 104034 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the Association:  The British Sandwich and Food to Go Association is a UK trade body representing retailers, manufacturers and suppliers involved in the UK’s fast growing sandwich and food to go market.   It’s membership ranges from small independent sandwich bars to large scale manufacturers and retailers.