Wiltshire Farm Foods, the UK’s leading supplier of home delivered ready meals, has introduced 100% recyclable trays, alongside a recycling collection service for its customers, as part of its commitment to protecting the planet.

Healthcare professionals can be assured that, in recommending Wiltshire Farm Foods to their service users, they are also advocating the reduction in food packaging as well as protection of the environment.

The trailblazing initiative involves collecting washed, used trays directly from customers and sending them back to a specialist recycling facility in Durham, where they are broken down to create brand new trays which are then redistributed to customers.

It is this closed loop nature of the recycling process which makes Wiltshire Farm Foods the first company in the world to adopt the scheme on an industrial scale.

Alarmingly, according to a report by RECOUP, 61% of UK household plastic recycling is exported, which means there’s uncertainty around where our plastic actually ends up.  Wiltshire Farm Foods guarantees that every tray collected from its customers across the UK will be recycled into new trays, so embracing the economic system which keeps waste and products in use, as opposed to disposing of them.

This commitment to protecting the environment has always been something of a mission for Wiltshire Farm Foods, especially with its packaging.  It’s one of the few food companies which doesn’t use cardboard sleeves on its meals, not wanting to create excessive and needless waste.

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Paul Freeston, Chair & CEO, apetito UK & North America holding a week’s worth of Wiltshire Farm Foods film lids next to a week’s worth of ready meals from other suppliers

Chair & CEO, apetito UK & North America, Paul Freeston, says sister company, Wiltshire Farm Foods is focused on targeting the ‘zero-packaging’ ready meal:

“As a food company, we’ve taken a serious approach when it comes to reducing waste with our packaging.  It’s why, many years ago, we decided to remove all cardboard sleeves from our meals, so the only thing we leave with the customer is the film lid.  We think it’s time for other retailers to ditch the cardboard sleeve completely, so that, together, we can minimise household recycling requirements and prevent unnecessary waste.

Of the closed loop recycling system, Paul is delighted to be rolling out this initiative to Wiltshire Farm Foods customers across the UK:

“We have tackled the issue of recycling our food packaging head on with this world first closed loop system.  Not only have we made the scheme easy for our customers to be a part of, as they simply hand their trays back to their drivers, we have also given them peace of mind that they know exactly where their empty trays are going.  We are hopeful that our customers will embrace this initiative, so that together we can play a crucial role in helping the environment, at a time when it needs it most.”

Porchester-based Lilah Fennell, 84, has been a customer for eight years and applauds the new recycling scheme:

“It’s fantastic to know that I’m doing my bit to help the environment and Wiltshire Farm Foods has made it so easy for me.  I can just hand the used trays back to my lovely driver, Paul, and look forward to my meals the following week, safe in the knowledge that nothing has gone to landfill.

“Paul tells me that for every 100 trays recycled we’ll be saving the equivalent of boiling water for 35 cups of tea!  When he put it like that, it made me feel very proud I was doing my bit for the environment.”

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