Anthesis Acts as Delivery Partner for New IGD Report

Report Calls for Urgent Reassessment of UK Packaging Strategy


Anthesis has supported IGD to develop and launch a new report on how we can halve the environmental impact of the UK packaging system by 2030. The report allows the food and consumer goods industry to drive progress towards this ambitious goal.

As delivery partner for the report, Anthesis developed the ambition baseline, covering the UK system for primary packaging, and modelled scenarios to determine the extent of the change needed by the industry to meet the ambition. To develop the baseline, Anthesis’ approach included identifying the best publicly available data sources and assessing the environmental impact of material flows.

We are proud to have supported IGD to deliver this new report. Ambitious action must be taken in the decisive decade if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and biodiversity collapse. The food and consumer goods industry is already doing much to improve the sustainability of its packaging but this new report highlights the key levers to focus on if we are to reduce the overall environmental impact of the system.

Kate Berry
Anthesis Group

Key insights from the report

  • 3.5 million tonnes of primary packaging was put on the UK market in 2019
  • Meeting the ambition will require a 20% removal of packaging and maximum efficiency gains
  • Removing packaging will have the biggest impact on reaching the ambition, as it eliminates the full lifecycle impact from production through to disposal

The report identifies three key levers to meet the ambition:

  • Removing unnecessary packaging from the system
  • Using the least material required to preserve/protect the product
  • Adopting reuse systems to reduce overall packaging required
  • Increasing recycled content is a priority for all materials as it has a high impact reduction across all environmental indicators
  • Maximising recyclability is critical to support this action
  • Decarbonising existing supply chains or moving production to regions with a lower carbon intensity offers significant carbon benefits