PFF responds to new plastic packaging tax
The PFF Packaging Group has welcomed the decision by UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond to introduce a tax on the manufacture and import of single use plastics that contain less than 30% recycled material.
Speaking after this week’s Budget announcement, group managing director Kenton Robbins said it was a positive move towards increasing sustainability but urged retailers to also play their part by ensuring they’re confident their packaging suppliers can meet and exceed the criteria.
“We anticipated this happening quite some years ago and so implemented a number of measures to ensure that our products contained a high proportion of recycled content,” Robbins said.
“Most of our food packaging products now contain up to 80%, sometimes 90%, rPET recyclate which of course in turn makes them fully recyclable.
“However, we firmly believe that over the next few years the major supermarkets and food retailers will play a significant role in transforming the economics of sustainable packaging so we urge them to check that their suppliers are capable of delivering at this level.”
The PFF Packaging Group, the UK’s largest independent producer of thermoformed plastic food packaging, has invested over the last 10 years in environmentally-friendly processes and materials to ensure products manufactured at its Keighley and Washington sites are 100% recyclable and have the smallest environmental footprint possible.
Completion of £700K expansion to treble Morelli’s production capacity
Northern Ireland’s family-owned ice cream brand, Morelli’s, has completed the third and final phase of a major three-year investment program, with support from Ulster Bank.
The family-run business has invested £350,000 ($447,000) to expand its Coleraine base of operations, including expanding its production and storage facilities, adding an additional 3,300 sq. ft. to the now 10,000 sq. ft. factory, and modernizing its head offices.
The latest phase forms part of an overall £700,000 ($894,000) investment program, which launched in 2015. It follows upgrades to manufacturing equipment, the development of a large-capacity freezer store, and the refurbishment of its flagship parlor in Portrush. The project was also supported with a capital grant from Invest NI.
Arnaldo Morelli, said the company was operating near to full capacity, producing 700,000 liters annually.
“The investment has enabled us to almost treble production capacity to 2m liters per year.”
The company is now looking to expand into new export markets.
“As well as our own family stores, we supply supermarkets and hundreds of independent retailers across Northern Ireland. This investment will enable us to increase exports to the Republic of Ireland and explore new markets in Great Britain, safe in the knowledge that we have the capacity to fulfil growing consumer demand.”
Mintel reports that in 2017, the value of the retail ice cream market on the island of Ireland was €248m ($280m) and is projected to hit €296m ($335m) by 2022, something the warm summer in western Europe helped.
“We’re operating in an industry on the crest of a wave at the minute,” Morelli said. “Ice cream sales surged over the summer as we basked in sunshine.”
Rhonda McClelland, business development manager at Ulster Bank, said the Morelli brand is a shining example of Northern Ireland’s growing list of quality food and drink producers.
“We’re extremely proud to support the Morelli family as they expand their business and explore export opportunities to new market,” McClelland said.
The Morelli family has been making ice cream since 1911, and operate retail outlets across Northern Ireland as well as several franchised units.