Greene King is the UK’s leading pub retailer and brewer, with 2,750 pubs, restaurants and hotels situated across the country. It was founded in Bury St Edmunds in 1799 and currently employs around 40,000 people across its main trading businesses; Pub Company, Pub Partners and Brewing & Brands.
The company is committed to reducing its environmental impact and operating sustainably. In 2020, it achieved the Carbon Trust’s Zero Waste to Landfill Standard and it has lots of initiatives across the business to reduce its impact on the environment.
Millions of tubs of chocolates, sweets and biscuits are sold in the UK each year; with the Christmas period accounting for the largest slice of all sales.
These tubs are made from polypropylene, which many local authorities find hard to recycle and, if this is the case, they are either landfilled or incinerated
In January 2021, Greene King launched a national campaign, together with co-cre8 and DCW Polymers to turn these tubs into much-needed cash for its national charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support.
co-cre8 is using its specialist knowledge to create a solution for these hard-to-recycle materials and will also be responsible for attracting large businesses to support the campaign.
Consumers and businesses are being encouraged to drop off their used plastic confectionery and biscuit tubs at any of Greene King’s managed pubs, restaurants and hotels across the UK. The tubs will be taken to DCW Polymers, who will employ its high-tech plastic reprocessing plant to shred and granulate the tubs ready for sale to manufacturers, that will displace virgin plastic.
First Year Results
The first year’s campaign ran during the whole of January 2021 and was supported by PR and social media. However, due to national lockdowns, all hospitality was closed, preventing the easy return of tubs.
Nevertheless, a fantastic effort from communities up and down the country meant that 5,227 tubs in total were collected.
This translated into 422kg in weight and, by reselling the recycled plastics, £422 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The campaign will return in 2022, this time with as many as 1,700 Greene King pubs participating, which should raise a far larger sum.
Vance Fairman-Smith, Greene King’s supply chain director, said:
“Earlier this year, we announced we were the first pub company to achieve the Carbon Trust’s Zero Waste to Landfill Standard, and we’re continually looking at how we can tackle waste and help the environment through recycling. We’re really excited to be able to offer this recycling facility to our customers but also to support Macmillan, which needs help more than ever following the huge gap in donations following the Covid 19 crisis.”