DS Smith replaces a billion plastic objects

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Ahead of schedule, thanks in part to partnerships with some of the world’s leading consumer brands, DS Smith has replaced more than one billion plastic items, 16 months ahead of its 2025 deadline – a milestone in its sustainability strategy.

The target refers to any primary and secondary plastic packaging items that have currently been reduced or completely removed from customer packaging as a direct result of adopting a DS Smith solution. This achievement stems from a plastic replacement and reduction programme launched in 2020 as part of DS Smith’s Now & Next Sustainability strategy that supports the company’s goal of redefining packaging for a changing world.

This milestone involves all DS Smith operations in 34 countries in Europe and North America cooperating to achieve the common goal of achieving circularity by avoiding waste production and keeping materials in use for longer. Italy played a key role in achieving this by replacing more than 88 million plastic items with fibre-based alternatives.

Everyday plastic items that have been replaced on supermarket shelves include fruit and vegetable containers, plastic bags and the packaging that typically wraps water and soft drink bottles.

Fundamental in achieving the one billion target were DS Smith’s Circular Design Principles and Metrics, defined in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Each of DS Smith’s nearly 800 designers has been trained to embrace the Circular Design Principles and is able to ascertain the sustainability of a packaging solution in terms of recycled material content and recyclability, estimated indicative CO2 emissions, amount of excess waste, and supply chain impact in partnership with customers.

First in its field, DS Smith has implemented Circular Design Metrics in several industries including retail, food & beverage, automotive components and industrial devices.

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