Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL (CP Foods) has launched Sustainable Packaging Design and Development Projects and switching to eco-friendly packages in an effort to reduce number of plastic waste and using 100% sustainable materials within 2030.
Mr Wuthichai Sithipreedanant, Senior Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Development of CP Foods, said the company has redesigned its food packages, for example, packages for fresh chicken, and pork products, to optimize all resources used in food production, reducing waste, especially plastic waste, and promote the use of environmentally friendly materials in accordance with the concept of Circular Economy.
CP Foods has a commitment to achieve 100% of the company's plastic food packaging to be reusable or recyclable or upcyclable or compostable by 2025 for Thailand operations and by 2030 for international operations. This commitment will also support the nation's goal of plastic management and UN Sustainable Development Goals.
"We are working on sustainable design and applying new technologies in our packaging process to reduce our environmental footprint and move from single use towards eco-friendly packaging," Mr Wuthichai said.
As a part of the initiative, CP Foods has redesigned many of its packages such as replacing raw chicken products' multilayer plastic package with a single layer package that is smaller and 100% recyclable, resulting in a 43% less plastic package and 24% cost saving.
Besides the package design and development project, CP Foods is the first company in Thailand to use plant-based Polylactic Acid (PLA) trays, which is a compostable bioplastic made from natural renewable resources in chilled raw chicken and pork products, as a replacement for plastic tray. In 2018, the company could reduce more than 3.9 million PET trays or over 60 tons of plastic, which is equivalent to GHG emissions reduction of 132 tons CO2e per year.
In the food retail outlets and restaurant business, the company is phasing out single use plastic food service ware, transitioning to bioplastic materials. For example, Star Coffee, one of the company's business, has already switched to bioplastic cup. Five Star Chicken has replaced most of its plastic bags to paper boxes.
In Belgium, Top Foods, a subsidiary of CP Foods, has developed a food package made of eco-friendly wood pulp to reduce plastic consumption for PURE's Vegan Lasagna.
Further, it has developed food packaging specialists and invested in Research and Development Center, which is playing a key role in creating sustainable packaging as well as providing solutions for package designs and other of technical assistances to all CP Foods' businesses across the world.
Mr Wuthichai added that the company also made initiatives to reduce plastics throughout value chain. For example, CP Foods has replaced plastic feed bags with Bulk Feed Tank in livestock feed business. In 2018, the Thailand operation was able to reduce 62% of plastic feed bags, accounting for 9,600 tons of plastic. The company has expanded the practice to overseas operations in eight countries, namely Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Turkey and Russia, reduced plastic feed bag usage by 31%.
Since 2006, the integrated broiler businesses have replaced plastic bags with stainless steel trucks to transfer products within the production processes. This approach reduced more than 93 million plastic bags in the production processes, accounting for 4,300 tons of plastic.
At CP Freshmart, every Wednesday is a plastic bag free day. This aims to encourage customers to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags, creating a collaboration for solving the plastic waste issue. It is expected that this initiative will help reduce 5 million pieces of plastic waste a year.