Here are the key actions we’re taking and would like to take over the next 12-18 months to improve as our business develops.
The ice cream industry needs to improve its packaging. Most ice cream tubs found in the supermarket are not recyclable or compostable. And that’s not good enough for the planet and it’s not good enough for Beau’s.
Our tubs are currently 50% compostable and 50% recyclable. Let’s look at what this really means when you’re trying to decide if you can stick your Beau’s in the recycling.
The tub is compostable and made from two parts: virgin cellulose and compostable polymers. The cellulose is taken from forests which are managed according to FSC standards.
The lid is recyclable and also made from two parts: virgin cellulose and polyethylene. The cellulose is currently being taken from forests that are not managed according to FSC standards, and the polyethylene is a widely recycled plastic polymer.
While the lid can be recycled widely across the UK, the tub is compostable and can be broken down within 12 weeks in composting conditions. The composting condition requirements are currently those of an industrial composting facility.
We’re tracing our sustainability journey in three stages: before, during and after.
Before we get hold of all the materials that go into making a tub of Beau’s, we want to understand where the material has come from and if that process is being responsibly managed.
Our aim is to find suppliers who can provide 100% of the materials from responsible sources. Right now, we’re trying to find a lid to match the profile of the tub – i.e. the cellulose being taken from forests managed according to FSC standards and with compostable polymers.
During our production cycle, we have the chance to correct or address any shortfalls that may have happened before we got our hands on the materials, whether that’s in relation to environmental, social or economic factors.
We’re currently looking into measuring the greenhouse gas emissions of our products in-house. We’re also investigating becoming a Certified B Corporation, a kind of business that balances profit with purpose and is legally required to consider the impact of business on workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment.
We want to help you dispose of your packaging in the best way possible – every single time. We want to understand and work closely with the organisations that deal with recycled and compostable materials to ensure that we’re always doing the best we can by the Earth.
Building on this, we’d like to help to decode the many confusing terms that are thrown around in relation to recycling and composting, which contribute to a lot of confusion and unnecessary waste!
We’re currently studying hard to understand how to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of our products over their entire life cycle. We plan to use this understanding to inform our policy at Beau’s to be able to produce an in-house carbon footprint calculation that will be measured to UK/International standards.
We aim to have our calculations verified by The Carbon Trust and work with them to certify the efforts that go into making our ice creams – and help us to minimise our footprint in a meaningful way.