We want partnerships with organizations throughout the supply chain to tackle sustainability issues, such as securing better end of life options for plastic.
Working Together To Find A Solution
We recognize that the lifecycle of packaging doesn’t end at the point of sale. Organizations across the recycling and waste disposal systems are looking for inventive ways to create a world where plastic waste is significantly reduced. By working together with these groups and our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders, we want to ensure Bunzl Distribution becomes part of that solution.
Perspectives and Insights
Recycling infrastructure is under pressure across the globe – with the Financial Times reporting on it as an industry “undergoing unprecedented disruption.”
How Bunzl Can Help
We want to use our unique position in the supply chain to partner with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders – including civil society organizations – to help strengthen recycling and re-use systems to secure end of life options for our products.
Our ultimate aim is to promote partnerships across our supply chain to bring a circular economy approach to the packaging materials we distribute.
Our supply chain is a key place where we seek to build sustainable partnerships. We believe that building relationships, capacity and trust with suppliers is critical when it comes to preventing and identifying ways to minimize plastic waste.
We’re also using our position in the supply chain to help secure end of life options for our products. Bunzl is funding the development of new waste management infrastructure and the provision of improved social services for marginalized waste picker communities in India. The project will also prevent c.200 tonnes plastic reaching the coast. We are now working to see if we can use this collected plastic in new products.
Sustainability is also a critical issue for the communities we operate in and where our employees live and work. That’s why we support local initiatives that have an impact on sustainability.
Recently, Bunzl Distribution CEO James A. McCool and John Lyday, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, led the way in the establishment of the Bunzl Urban League Scholarship by donating $75,000 to start the scholarship fund. This fund will support Urban League relief efforts and help increase diversity and inclusion in the Distribution industry. Together, Bunzl and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis are extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity to continue to empower communities and change lives.
Our Progress So Far
Across our business, we have started to consider how we can partner with other organizations in the supply chain to minimize the impact on the environment and to encourage recycling.
We want to partner with organizations throughout the supply chain to tackle sustainability issues, such as securing better end of life options for packaging and our ultimate aim is to bring a circular economy approach to the products we distribute. One example of how we have been doing this is a partnership with one of our grocery customers in North America.
A grocery customer approached Bunzl North America for information on recycling opportunities for film-based plastics in 2018. Instead of just offering knowledge and advice, we decided to partner with the customer to create a film-based recycling program using Bunzl North America’s infrastructure.
The store teams collect clear, film-based plastic (i.e. produce bags, pallet wrap, etc.,) throughout the week, our drivers then load the collected plastic at the time of each store’s weekly Bunzl delivery and backhaul the material to one of our Distribution Centers. Our warehouse teams then use our waste management equipment to bale the plastic before it is sent for recycling by a local service provider.
Case Study: Partnering with the Waste Management Industry
When plastic is wasted and not recycled properly, it can end up in the environment, contaminating many natural processes, including compost waste streams.
Bunzl Distribution USA, LLC has been consulting with the Composters Manufacturing Association (CMA) to understand how we can work together to create closed-loop systems to overcome this challenge. We find suppliers producing compostable products such as cutlery and gloves, and provide them to our customers. This helps cleanse the commercial waste stream and improves the compost outflows for the CMA in areas where they have collection services available.