UK – British fiber-based packaging supplier DS Smith has strengthened its ‘Now & Next Sustainability Strategy’ to further accelerate its commitments to transition to a circular economy.

Since 2020, DS Smith says it has replaced more than 750 million difficult-to-recycle plastic items with fiber-based alternatives and has “created more than 30,000 circular-ready projects through its industry-leading Circular Design Metrics.”

The company estimates it handles some 6 million metric tonnes of old corrugated containers (OCC) and other recyclables each year, either at its mills or at the recycling collection and sorting plants it operates.

DS Smith estimates it has reduced its CO2 emissions by 15 percent compared with 2019 and, since launching the Now & Next strategy, has met nine of 26 announced targets, “with an additional three targets tracking ahead of schedule.”,

In addition, the company says now it has raised its ambition with a set of focused targets to accelerate progress with one of the new targets about recycling and circularity: that by 2025 it will test up to five reuse pilot projects and that it will continue to manufacture 100 percent recyclable and reusable packaging.

Miles Roberts DS Smith Group Chief Executive says: “We have made good progress with our Now & Next Sustainability Strategy, but the world around us demands that we all do more.

“That is why we are taking action today to ensure our commitments deliver at pace in a rapidly changing world and accelerate our transition to a low-carbon, circular, economy.”

Other recycling-related targets in the strategy include by 2030, engaging 10 million (an increase from 5 million) people on the circular economy and circular lifestyles; ensuring 100 percent of the fiber the firm uses in manufacturing paperboard is recycled or chain of custody-certified; and by 2025, removing 1 billion items of difficult-to-recycle plastic.

Other Now & Next Sustainability Strategy goals pertain to energy and emissions reduction, water usage and employee development and safety.

“To address climate change, we must adopt low-carbon, renewable, energy sources, but we must also address how we make and use things in our everyday lives, by moving to the circular economy,” adds Roberts.

“Through our Circular Design Principles, we already act as the gateway to the circular economy for our customers, helping some of the world’s most recognizable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands meet their sustainability goals, alongside our own.”

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