By Karen Barrass
Since March 2017, True Food has been collecting Ella’s Kitchen food pouches for recycling. You may have noticed the brightly coloured box as you’ve walked past during your shop, or even brought pouches in yourself. Four years ago, I had accumulated a mass of food pouches, reluctant to throw them away, but the Children’s Centre in Emmer Green had stopped collecting them. After I wrote a pleading email, True Food, as a stockist of Ella’s Kitchen, agreed to pop one in the store.
And it has been a raving success; in the past 4 years True Food customers have recycled almost 14,000 food pouches and in doing so raised £245 for Readifood.
I spoke to Ella’s Kitchen Sustainability Executive Charlotte Jost about the scheme with Terracycle:
“In 2006, we were very excited to bring the baby food pouches to market – they were lightweight, low carbon and safe. But because they were not recyclable at the kerbside, this presented us with a big challenge.
In 2010, we partnered with Terracycle on a nationwide recycling programme and since then we have stopped 4 million pouches going to landfill. The current recycling infrastructure is very confusing – with over 300 local authorities who all collect and process waste in completely different ways. Terracycle helps by recycling items that at the moment would otherwise end up in the bin. We’re working hard to ensure that by 2024, recycling pouches at the kerb will be possible.
We get a monthly update from Terracycle about how many drop-off locations we have and how many pouches have been recycled. Terracycle take the pouches, clean them and melt them into pellets, they are then mixed with other products and turned into everyday items like garden benches, watering cans and children’s play equipment.
And in November 2020, we partnered with Danone to grow the recycling programme. Our collection boxes can now accept altogether any brand of baby food pouches, kids’ yogurt pouches, pouch caps and any Ella’s Kitchen snack packets – preventing even more waste.
As well as this scheme, we have big sustainability plans – we have committed to be ‘net zero’ in terms of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and we also ensure that 100% of our surplus food is not wasted – it is donated to FareShare or other smaller UK charities.
It is important to Ella’s Kitchen to be as accessible to parents, carers and tiny tummies as we can, so it’s great that we can provide our stock to community shops like True Food. We’re striving to improve children’s lives and to ensure they grow up with a healthy relationship with food.”
So you heard it here first, please do continue donating the pouches at True Food, and please bring your other Ella’s Kitchen snack packets, alongside other brands of food and yogurt pouches and caps too* and we can raise even more for Readifood at a time they really need it and keep that waste out of the ground!
* Waste that is NOT accepted:
• Glass jars for yogurt and baby food
• Yogurt pots and plastic bottles
• Any other brand of snack packets
• Juice and jelly pouches