We take another big step toward our SME Climate Commitment to half our CO2 emissions by 2030 and to be net-zero by 2050. As part of our SKYGREEN agenda, we’re pleased to announce that our Scunthorpe facility is now 100% powered by renewable electricity backed by REGOs

What are REGOs?

Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs), are certificates which show that electricity has been generated from renewable sources. Energy generators are given one REGO for each megawatt hour of electricity they produce. All of this is administered by Ofgem (the Energy Industry Regulator).

Renewable energy is energy that comes from sustainable sources. This means that they won’t run out, unlike other energy sources such as coal. Some examples of renewable energy out there include solar power, wind power and hydro-energy.

Why use renewable energy?

Because we only have a limited amount of resources, such as fossil fuels, whereas renewable energy is potentially unlimited. Renewable energy sources also cause less damage to the environment, as well as reduce carbon emissions and the effects of global warming.

It is our top priority to continue to move towards a sustainable future, not only in the materials we manufacture but the way in which we make them. Switching to 100% renewable energy is another contribution to our REDUCE headline under our SKYGREEN agenda.

Dan Richards – Sales & Marketing Director

Almost everything we buy is packaged in some way.

Big consumer-facing organisations have made bold commitments to achieve zero or drastically reduced greenhouse gas emissions to enhance their overall corporate sustainability performance, including us. Simultaneously, their attention on packaging has been on boosting recyclability and recycled content.

Sustainable packaging efforts are frequently motivated by a goal to not comprise on the primary function which is to protect the product, but the list of desirable packaging solutions is long. Consumers want brand owners and retailers to quantify the environmental or sustainability impact of packaging based on many factors, which will ultimate make consumers feel pleased with their purchase.

  • Reduce weight or reduced the use of materials
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Reduced use of other resources
  • Reuse
  • Use of recycled material
  • Use of recyclable material
  • Use of compostable or biodegradable material.

Even though brand owners, retailers, and regulators recognise the importance of sustainability, there is no universal method or solution on how to implement it across these interconnected factors.  There is no one solution that fits all.

However the vast array of design options to improve the sustainability story could be handled in two stages:

The first step is to look for low-hanging fruit. Customers and packaging converters alike will benefit from the design changes, which will have a minimum impact on operational expenses and capital expenditures. These steps include removing needless packaging, increasing the use of recycled content in packaging materials, when possible (for example, in less sensitive applications such as non-food goods), and assisting in the successful communication of sustainability narratives (for instance, by showing consumers how to recycle packaging).

The second step is a little more difficult, but it’s still feasible. Package-design innovations which take into consideration the complete circular economy and the direct environmental effect of creating packaging materials, can generate more broad changes than those in step one. Packaging design that makes use of current material developments and uses more mono-materials might be part of this endeavour. It might also entail developing package designs in novel shapes and forms, as well as new substrates, to make recycling easier. It will be vital to guarantee that these design decisions do not have unintended negative implications, such as an increase in food waste, which might have a bigger environmental impact.

We think that taking an end-to-end view of the value chain and applying a science-based approach to sustainable claims. Some activities, such as adopting nonrecyclable lightweight packaging with a smaller carbon footprint, may result in inadvertent conflicts. As a result, it’s critical to give more transparency and provide a more rigorous and fact-based approach to packaging’s sustainability performance so that consumers, firms across the value chain, and regulators can make more educated packaging decisions.

For each proactive member in the packaging value chain, we propose the following three lessons:

  • Consumers and customers should be educated. Get your product’s sustainability story right by presenting a fact-based assessment of where your packaging product sits in comparison to the next-best options across the major sustainability elements—and be sure to emphasise the trade-offs.
  • Examine the trade-offs between sustainability goals in detail. Consider the whole value chain when calculating your carbon footprint, considering both direct and indirect carbon impacts as well as all the benefits and drawbacks of each material choice. Also keep in mind that innovative business models, such as reusable ideas, may help to reduce carbon emissions even more.
  • Expect external unpredictability. Recognize that how packaging sustainability is viewed is unclear and that the external environment may change (for example, new regulation focused on one dimension of sustainability could be introduced, potentially at the expense of others). To do so, you should analyse all aspects of sustainability, including the influence of other major packaging trends that are creating change and uncertainty, and develop a packaging product contingency plan.

To all our valued business partners,

As you will most likely be aware, unprecedented events are currently unfolding in the Ukraine.

Like many others around the world, we share the view that the actions being taken are inexcusable and intolerable. Our thoughts are with all the people affected by this devastating situation and our hope is for a swift and peaceful resolution. We have overwhelming sympathy and support for the brave and proud nation of Ukraine.

We want to take this opportunity to reassure our valued client base in this testing time. At this moment in time, we do not foresee any direct issues with our business in terms of our ability to continue to operate as usual and meet your expectations. Naturally, due to the fluidity of this situation, we will monitor the events and their impact on our ability to maintain supply very closely.

We have taken pre-emptive steps by assessing the key stakeholders within our supply chain on whether any of our key materials are subject to restrictions of supply, both in terms of their general availability, as well as their geographical origin and any associated political restrictions. Our current assessment has indicated that none of our materials is affected, nor do they originate from the affected areas.

Whilst the conflict and the widespread sanctions do not currently pose a direct impact on our business, we are well aware that some elements of our business will invariably be impacted at some stage. It is no secret that the existing energy crisis will be exacerbated by the trade sanctions. We are seeing already record spikes for both Oil, Gas & Commodities prices – costs which will ultimately impact all of us. We will continue to monitor these volatile commodities and assess their potential impacts placed upon us. As always, our aim will be to avoid any price increases to you wherever possible. However, given the uncertain nature of this development, we cannot guarantee that there will be no cost impacts going forward; given that even before the escalation, we had been made aware of significant surcharges on some products.

Please rest assured that we will continue to assess all facets of this conflict and its resulting impacts on our ability to service our valued client base with the Quality, Response and Service which you dearly value.

We trust that this message allays any concerns you have at this stage. Should you still require further information on this complex topic, please contact us on the below details and we will endeavour to answer any questions you may have to the best of our ability.

Mono PE/PE  Laminate + 30%PCR (30% in Filmic Structure to avoid UK Packaging Tax):

With the upcoming UK Plastic Packaging Tax coming into force from 1st April, the packaging sector faces some interesting challenges; one of these sectors is Wet Wipes packaging.

The challenge with this market lies in ensuring compliance to regulatory requirements and as cosmetic regulations (EC) No 1223/2009 do not specify their product safety parameters, but instead rely on the Food Safety testing standards framework of (EC) No 10/2011 and (EC) No 1935/2004, cosmetic packaging items must meet food safety standards to be placed on the market unless they can be challenge tested for safe use.

What is our answer to this challenge?

Our highly skilled team set out to successfully develop a mono PE laminate structure containing 30% recycled content.  The material structure, as well as its PCR granules, have been independently assessed for compliance with strict requirements and compared against the virgin resin’s only equivalent version. 

The final PCR content laminated structure has been rigorously tested for Overall Migration Levels (OML) at our specialist Food Compliance Testing partners at Campden BRI to food safety standards*¹, whereas the PCR granule itself has been tested for compliance to EDANA by our partners as Galab Laboratories GmbH in Germany, which includes testing of granulates against Level of Quantification (LOQ) of Alkylphenol ethoxylates, Alkylphenols, Bisphenols, Heavy metals, Organotin compounds and Phthalates.

Testing of both the virgin and recycled content mono PE laminate structures did not contain any NIAS substances which would cause concern for food safety.

The net result of our testing and development work, which meets the high safety requirements outlined under EFSA & UK Food Safety testing required by cosmetic regulations, is a mono PE structure which utilises mechanically recycled content being ready deployment within the Wet Wipe Packaging market *².

The results of the above were that there was no migratory impact was seen between a substrate made from virgin only polymers vs the equivalent structure including 30% recycled content materials.

The final step for us was to ensure our recyclability claims lived up to the challenge too. Courtesy of the changes within the recent changes within the UK Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA), we decided to ensure that we could independently substantiate our claims for a recyclable mono PE laminate structure.  We enlisted the help of our colleagues at Institut Cyclos HTP in Germany to test our mono PE laminate for recyclability and NIR detection within the waste streams and our product scored very high for recyclability, achieving 95% recyclability under LDPE plastic films; with no issues for LDPE NIR detection within the waste streams.

As a result of all of the above, we are pleased to announce that we can support our clients in their endeavour to not only meet the challenges of recycling Laminated packaging materials, but also offer a solution to the challenges imposed by the UK Plastic Packaging Tax.

*¹ Testing was completed using simulants, A, B and D2, covering food items from almost every spectrum. To further test the safety of the material, the D2 Simulant test was also conducted using the most aggressive test substance (95% v/v ethanol).

*² Final compliance testing will be required by the customer with regard to leach testing when the packaging is subjected to the customer’s wipes and  solution(s), as these may affect the substrate. We do not foresee significant issues with this test, as we believe that routine customer compliance/ approval testing should be based on the same clearance procedures.

Kudos to customer services team member Lucy Morris and her daughter who raised funds for Mind walking 100 miles in October

Mental health: your psychological, emotional and social well-being

It impacts every area of your life.

Having positive mental health allows you to effectively deal with the daily stressors of life, communicate well with others, make healthy decisions and live life to its fullest.

….sometimes, struggles with mental health can make it seem like achieving a healthy mental state is impossible.

It’s charities like MIND that provide the help and support when it’s needed!

Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

In a world where we face a multitude of environmental challenges, we at Skymark Packaging are aiming to redefine how business can play a vital part in improving the lives of everyone around us.

At Skymark Packaging we take our obligation to our Environment serious. As such, we are always on the look-out for improvements to our environmental impacts on society. As a heavy user of Natural resources, both in terms of our Utilities and Raw materials, as well as being a user of a multitude of chemical products, we are all too aware that we must strive to adapt our practices and products to be as clean and green as is possible.

In the past, we have been working on a number of successful projects on reducing our waste footprint, such as on-site recycling of Plastic materials or reducing our overall power consumption by significant amounts. Now though, we are taking our ambitions to the next level by actively working towards compliance to Zero Waste to Landfill requirements.

Our team have spent significant amounts of time to assess and audit all of our current Waste streams, from wood and metal through to plastics and chemicals with the aim of diverting any waste away from landfill. Due to the excellent work conducted by all of our operational staff, we are proud to say that none of our waste materials are currently sent to landfill. Many are being recycled into new products (internally and externally) or used as alternatives to fossil fuels within the supply chain to construction materials or Energy from Waste plants within the UK.

If you are looking for a supply chain partner who has an impeccable record in developing ground-breaking products, whilst finding innovative ways of reducing its impact on the environment, then Skymark Packaging should be the first name on your list.

Skymark Packaging has long held a desire to conserve our environment. We produce innovative packaging solutions, efficiency projects and next level working methods. Whenever we explore a possibility to improve, we endeavour to involve our work force or (wherever possible) local companies that share the same philosophy as Skymark, reducing unnecessary carbon emissions associated with travel and logistics.

The Pureloop project is another fine example of our philosophy. Together with our project partners at Pureloop in Austria, and in line with our commitment to “Operation Clean Sweep”, Skymark continue to tirelessly work to improve its recycling rates of plastic.

Our partners at Pureloop have enabled us to provide a closed loop waste solution to ensure our objectives are achievable “Recycle and re-use as much of our Plastic Packaging Waste as possible”
Housed within a purpose-built environment, our Pureloop unit significantly contributes to a dramatic reduction in Waste materials, as well as allowing us to contribute to the wider societal good by recycling plastic packaging materials.

The project enables us to offer a closed loop recycling solution to not only address production over-makes and associated materials at Skymark, but also offer our clients the peace of mind and assurance that we can offer a fully controlled and licenced recycling route for their post-industrial plastic waste stream(s). With Plastics receiving weekly headline news, we are proud to say that we have recycled over 450t of plastic Packaging between January and September 2019 which would otherwise have been sent to landfill or used as Refuse derived Fuel.

Instead, we have recycled the material into usable pellets which can be used in a controlled manner to displace virgin plastic use, thus significantly reducing the impact on the environment. Our Next step? Simple – Significantly beat this year’s figures. Skymark and Pureloop – a beautifully symbiotic relationship, not just another grind…

Skymark Packaging has long held a desire to conserve our environment. We produce innovative packaging solutions, efficiency projects and next level working methods. Whenever we explore a possibility to improve, we endeavour to involve our work force or (wherever possible) local companies that share the same philosophy as Skymark, reducing unnecessary carbon emissions associated with travel and logistics. Our Free cooling project is another fine example of our philosophy.  

Together with our project partners at ICS Cool Energy, Skymark have delivered a milestone project which has seen us using nature to help us reduce our costs.

Our partners at ICS Cool Energy have managed to provide an in-line cooling solution to ensure that our objective has been met:

“Reduce our energy use for water cooling purposes by at least 200,000kWh/annum”

Systems like these always rely on external factors to be successful. Thankfully, the weather in North Lincolnshire is favourable to us in our attempts to make the most of this development.

We are delighted to report that we have successfully achieved our objectives by using the typically moderate Lincolnshire climate to help us cool our water system whilst saving in excess of 200,000kWh per annum of electricity in the process.

The project ensures that we do not only reduce our like-for-like annual electricity consumption and associated Carbon emissions, but we have also reduced one of our key operational costs.  Process cold water has been reduced from being the 2nd most expensive consumer in 2017 to not even featuring within the Top 5 in 2019. What an absolutely amazing result.

Launching with its most popular product, Andrex® Classic Clean, the new packaging will be designed using 30% recycled plastic packaging made from post-consumer resin. Ensuring the packaging continues to be fully recyclable, PCR is a sustainable packaging alternative made from plastic materials used by consumers.

The plastic is then taken to a facility where it is washed, reground and pelletized into a new usable material.  The new Andrex® Classic Clean packs will begin to appear on all major retailers’ shelves from June 2020, a change which will remove 481 tonnes of virgin plastic over the next 12 months from this variant alone. That’s the equivalent of over 48 million 500ml PET virgin plastic bottles.

The announcement marks yet another step towards a wider ambition to reduce the brand’s usage of virgin plastic. By 2023, Andrex® is targeting to have at least 50% recycled plastic across all its packaging.

Ori Ben Shai, Vice President & Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark UK, said: “At Andrex, we are committed to improving the sustainability of our products and packaging. The launch of the new 30% recycled plastic packaging forms part of our wider ambition to leave a greener ‘pawprint’ on the planet. Beyond this, we aim to have at least 50% recycled plastic content in our packaging by 2023, and we will continue to look for more sustainable alternatives that reduce our environmental footprint, without compromising on the quality of our products that our customers know and love.”

The announcement is just the latest step in the brand’s wider plan to further enhance its sustainability of its products, packaging and processes as part of the Andrex® Greener Paw Print initiative.

All Andrex® Toilet Tissue dry packaging is 100% recyclable and the brand recently removed plastic handles from wrapped Andrex® packs of toilet tissue saving 31 tonnes of plastic per year.  In addition to this, Andrex® Washlets were the first major UK brand to receive Water UK’s ‘Fine to Flush’ certification, which scientifically tests whether flushable wipes can be flushed down toilets and pass safely through sewer systems. The certification, announced earlier this year, sits across the full Andrex® Washlets range.