butter spread margarine tub

Cover papers were were superfluous, having traditionally been used to flatten the product for even filling and to provide a surface for promotional messages, Saputo said

Saputo Dairy UK is to remove non-recyclable cover papers from its Clover, Utterly Butterly and Country Life Spreadable lines, in a move that will prevent 44 tonnes of packaging from going to landfill annually.

The dairy giant described its move – part of a commitment to ensure all packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025 – as both a category first and a “significant milestone” in its sustainability journey.

With the tubs and lids for these brands already recyclable, the new change meant all packaging for these spreads was now fully recyclable.

A printed message alerting customers of the move will be on existing cover papers until the end of June, with the full removal of the papers commencing from July.

Cover leaf 500g transparent file

Source: Saputo Dairy UK 

Cover papers in the packaging of spreads are traditionally used to flatten the product for even filling and to provide a surface for promotional messages, Saputo said, but they never served as a tamper-evident feature. This was “a common misconception”, the supplier claimed.

The greaseproof papers are not recyclable due to their tightly bound fibres and difficulty in separating them during waste management, it added, and were “not essential for maintaining the quality or freshness of the spreads”. The existing lid ensured product hygiene and integrity, it stressed.

“As a producer of leading British food brands, we are determined to play an active role in reducing waste and looking after our natural resources,” said Joanna Swan, senior brand manager for spreads at Saputo Dairy UK.

“In general, people want to do the right thing but there is a lot of ambiguity and varying guidance around what can or cannot be recycled. Therefore, removing unnecessary packaging is the good choice for the environment. As a leading brand, this one small change from us can make a difference to the planet.”