Plastics and packaging

To drive a circular economy approach to plastic packaging we:

  • Have removed problematic plastics – PVC and polystyrene – from our packaging
  • Are making all own brand ready meal tray packaging widely recyclable by 2024
  • Are replacing black plastic with NIR detectable options to improve recycling rates
  • Are simplifying the materials we use, reducing them to three plastic polymers (PET, PP and PE) by 2023
  • Are clearly labelling all own brand products to help customers recycle easily and improve recycling streams
  • Are reducing plastic content by 10% by weight by 2025
  • Are making sure all new own brand products are critically reviewed during the development process, to ensure plastic and packaging content is minimised; or where present, the recycled content is increased
  • We’ve changed our own brand bottled water to 50% recycled plastic content
  • We’ve launched our plastic free range consisting of over 120 compostable and 90 100% recyclable products
  • We’ve written several guides to help customers make informed choices – click here to find out more.


We have multiple commitments on the products which we offer to customers. Details for our catering supplies range can be found below, and other product polices can be found here


Our targets and progress for our range of packaging:


  • Target 1 – Eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use packaging.

    • Removal of polystyrene and PVC – monitoring creep
    • Removal of plastic straws and stirrers
    • Removal of black/ non-NIR detectable plastics
    • Further SUPs need to be removed/ replaced
  • Target 2 – 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging

    • Complex laminates – mono polymer solutions to be evaluated (PE, PET, PP) – investigate new performance lacquers during 2022
    • Mixed materials unable to separate – projects live
    • 97.3% all packaging recyclable
  • Target 3 – 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted

    • 83% plastic recyclable
  • Target 4 – 30% average recycled content in plastic packaging

    • 13.3% current plastic recycled content
    • Targets: 20% by 2022, 25% by 2023

We also have targets for our hygiene category:

  1. Eliminate problematic single-use products such as wet wipes
  2. Improve our range of cleaning products available to offer a ‘Clean Green Range’.
  3. 30% minimum recycled content in plastic packaging of our hygiene products


And for our equipment categories:

  1. 30% minimum recycled content in plastic packaging
  2. Investigate reusable food to go solutions
  3. Improve waste stream support to improve recycling of disposables


A quick guide to sustainability

We continue to actively work with our Own Brand suppliers to identify and remove unnecessary plastic packaging where it is not absolutely essential.

Our goal is to deliver 358,000kg of plastic reduction by 2025.

Through critical evaluation of new product development (NPD), we ensure that all of our packaging is recyclable at end-of-life wherever possible. To ensure plastic packaging is recyclable, we are developing solutions which consist of one of the three most widely recyclable polymers – polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

We are targeting alternative solutions for all uses of mixed materials with a goal to deliver recyclable solutions for these packaging formats, which have historically been difficult to recycle.

Read the full guide

Plastics in our own brands

All of Bidfood’s Own Brand corrugated cases and trays are 100% Recyclable

A key area of focus for 2021 was getting ready for the UK Plastic Tax. The tax came into effect in April 2022 with the initial submission at the end of July 2022. We have educated our non-UK import suppliers in regard registering and paying the tax, and also undertaken a large amount of work in identifying those products which Bidfood imports directly to help mitigate our own tax liability.

We have numerous live projects including new packaging innovation, to ensure that Bidfood are well positioned to reduce and replacing plastic where possible. We are increasing the recycled content of plastic material to a minimum 30%, where it safe to do so.

Back to Top