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Mondelēz International announces its participation in a new Flexible Plastic Fund FlexCollect project
Mondelēz International announces its participation in a new Flexible Plastic Fund FlexCollect project

Press release -

Mondelēz International joins forces to launch UK’s biggest flexible plastic household collection and recycling pilot

  • Mondelez International is contributing to the £2.9m Flexible Plastic Fund FlexCollect project, the largest pilot for household collections and recycling of flexible plastic packaging ever undertaken in the UK
  • Pilot will inform how to incorporate flexibles into existing collection services across different geographies and demographics, developing best practice
  • This industry led project, initiated and led by the Flexible Plastic Fund (FPF) benefits from cross- industry expertise of leading industry and government partners, including DEFRA, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), SUEZ, RECOUP, LARAC & WRAP
  • FlexCollect pilot is another example of how the company is investing in the UK’s recycling infrastructure as part of its ‘Pack Light and Right’ sustainable packaging strategy

UxbridgeMay 19th, 2022 – Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MDLZ) today announces its participation in a new Flexible Plastic Fund FlexCollect project, the largest pilot undertaken in the UK for household collections and recycling of flexible plastic. Mondelēz International has co-funded this multi-million-pound project through the Flexible Plastic Fund, DEFRA, UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge (SSPP) and Zero Waste Scotland and is a coalition comprising the project co-founders, Ecosurety, SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, RECOUP and WRAP.  

The pilot, which will run for the next three years, will also benefit from a cross-section of industry stakeholders including Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC), National Association of Waste Disposal Officers (NAWDO), Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and Environmental Services Assocation (ESA) are also involved to ensure the views of all parts of the value chain involved in the collection and recycling of this material are considered.

Mondelēz International is a member of several leading initiatives that share a collective ambition to tackle plastic waste and create a circular economy - aiming to keep plastic within the economy and out of the environment. In 2021 its UK business co-founded the Flexible Plastic Fund, financing a £1 million fund to make flexible plastic recycling economically viable for recyclers and easier for consumers through retailer collections.

Mondelēz International UK Managing Director, Louise Stigant, said “Packaging plays an important role; from protecting the food we buy to preventing it from becoming food waste. A high proportion of our packaging on the UK market is already designed to be recyclable, and consumers can recycle it at home. Increasing the recycling rates of our flexible packaging and creating a circular economy for this material so our packaging does not end its life in the environment is a priority for us and something we know is important to our consumers. We are excited to take this next step on this journey as part of the FlexCollect initiative.”

At Mondelēz International making snacks sustainably and in the right way is at the heart of the business’ purpose – Snacking Made Right. The FPF FlexCollect project is the next step on the UK business’ journey to create a future where people and planet thrive. Both flexible packaging initiatives are part of Mondelēz International’s ‘Pack Light and Pack Right’ strategy - supporting its 2025 global goals to achieve 100% designed to be recyclable packaging, reduce the use of virgin plastic material in its overall plastic packaging portfolio by 5% (assuming constant portfolio mix), and provide consumers with recycling information.

Since 2013 Mondelēz Interational has removed 72,100 metric tons of packaging globally - the UK business has removed 192 tonnes of plastic and cardboard packaging since 2020. Recycling flexible plastic is a considerable challenge: it represented 22% of all UK consumer plastic packaging in 2020 but only 8%1 was recycled. The FPF FlexCollect project provides a crucial opportunity for government, local authorities, packaging producers and the waste industry to build vital understanding of how to incorporate flexibles into existing household collections across different geographies, demographics and collection formats. It will develop best practices with key insights into the operational issues, yields and recyclability of flexible packaging, effective communications with residents and the costs of incorporating it into the UK’s current recycling collection systems.

The project will also build an evidence base and share learnings to support Government’s decision to introduce recyclable plastic film and flexible packaging household collections across the UK by March 20272. The data and insights provided will be shared publicly and will help support local authorities introducing new collections, as well as stimulate the development of end markets and domestic reprocessing infrastructure. It is also fully aligned with the WRAP led UK Plastics Pact ‘Roadmap 2025: Creating a circular economy for flexible plastic packaging’3

Commenting on the initiative, Resources and Waste Minister Jo Churchill said: “Plastic films and flexible packaging make up a huge proportion of our waste and we all want to see more of this material recycled. Our plans to introduce consistency in recycling and encourage more recyclable packaging through extended producer responsibility will significantly reduce the amount of plastic polluting our natural environment.

“This innovative project will provide valuable evidence to support our proposals to roll out nationwide collections of plastic film from all households and businesses.” Read the full press release here

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About Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International, Inc. (Nasdaq: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world. With 2021 net revenues of approximately $29 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as OREO, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum. Mondelēz International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

About The Flexible Plastic Fund

The Flexible Plastic Fund is a collaborative fund giving value to flexible plastics so they are properly recycled. Managed by market-leading producer responsibility compliance scheme Ecosurety and supported by environmental charity Hubbub, the Fund was established in May 2021 by five founding partners: Mars UK, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever. Partners of the Fund now also include: Abel & Cole, Ella’s Kitchen, The Collective, Kiddylicious, Koninklijke Douwe Egberts, KP Snacks, McCain Foods, Tilda, United Biscuits, Vitaflo, Yeo Valley Farms, Lotus Bakeries, Natural Balance Foods, Ocado Retail and Warp Snacks

In collaboration with manufacturers, retailers and recyclers, the Fund intends to improve flexible plastic recycling and reduce plastic pollution by giving the material a stable value. This will in turn increase the supply of recycled plastic for the industry to become more ‘circular’. This will motivate investment in much needed jobs and infrastructure to make flexible plastic recycling a financially sustainable system in the UK. Through supporting the Flexible Plastic Fund, partners will contribute to system-wide progress driving towards household collection of this valuable material and ultimately closing the loop on flexible plastic production. Find out more: www.flexibleplasticfund.org.uk

About Defra

Defra is a ministerial department, supported by 33 agencies and public bodies. We are responsible for improving and protecting the environment. We aim to grow a green economy and sustain thriving rural communities. We also support our world-leading food, farming and fishing industries.

About UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge

The Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge aims to establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging for consumer products with £60 million in funding which will be complemented by £149 million from industry. The challenge will deliver cleaner growth across the supply chain, with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025. Part of this funding will develop and demonstrate at scale new business models for reuse and refill as well as behavioural change. Delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), more detail on the SSPP Challenge can be found here.

About SUEZ recycling and recovery UK

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK employs over 5,600 people, operating across hundreds of sites, and handles in excess of 10 million tonnes of waste materials every year – a significant proportion of the UK’s total waste. Through collection, treatment, recycling and logistics operations, it serves more than 30,000 business customers and millions of householders throughout the country. Please visit https://www.suez.co.uk/ to find out more.

About RECOUP

RECOUP is a charity and leading authority providing expertise and guidance across the plastics recycling

value chain. Built on a network of valued members, collaboration is central to RECOUP’s activities. The

organisation is committed to securing sustainable, circular, and practical solutions for plastics recycling

and resources both in the UK and worldwide.

About WRAP

WRAP is a global NGO based in the UK. It is one of the UK’s top 5 environmental charities and works with governments, businesses and individuals to ensure that the world’s natural resources are used more sustainably. It is the charity leading the UK Plastics Pact (a world first), Courtauld Commitment 2030, Textiles 2030 as well as the citizen campaigns Love Food Hate Waste, Love Your Clothes, Clear on Plastics and Recycle Now. It also runs Food Waste Action Week and Recycle Week in the UK. WRAP works collaboratively and develops and delivers evidence-based, solutions to reduce the environmental cost of the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the plastic packaging we use. Founded in 2000 in the UK, WRAP now works with partners in forty countries, across six continents and is a Global Alliance Partner of The Royal Foundation’s Earthshot Prize. Follow our citizen campaigns on Instagram: @lfhw_uk @recyclenow_uk @WalesRecycles @ClearOnPlastics @LoveYourClothes_UK

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With more than 4,000 employees in ten locations across the UK, including five manufacturing plants and a Global Centre Of Excellence for Chocolate Research and Development in Bournville and a Global Science Centre in Reading , Mondelez International is proud to make some of the UK’s most iconic and innovative brands. Its portfolio includes beloved brands such as Cadbury, Bassett’s, Maynards, Trebor, belVita, Oreo and Ritz.

Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) is one of the world’s largest snacks companies, with 2015 net revenues of approximately $30 billion. Our dream is to create delicious moments of joy in everything we do. We are the world’s pre-eminent maker of snacks, with leading market shares in every category in which we compete. Mondelēz International holds the No. 1 position globally in Biscuits, Chocolate and Candy as well as the No. 2 position in Gum (source: Euromonitor).