Kingsmill uses loaf for first eco-bag

By John Pinching
Kingsmill launches UK’s first bread bag containing recycled content

Bread gurus Kingsmill have challenged the old adage about being 'the best thing since sliced bread' by launching the UK’s first bread bag containing recycled content. The brand’s breakthrough bag is being trialled through its 50/50 No Crusts product. 

Kingsmill has announced the nationwide launch of its new bread bag to help demonstrate how a circular economy could work for soft plastics. The new Kingsmill 50/50 No Crusts bread bag, featuring 30% advanced recycled content, is launching into supermarkets as part of a mass trial in a move that marks a first for UK bread aisles.   

The 50/50 No Crusts bread bag is moving to recycled material on a 30% mass balanced basis over the next 12 months. No Crusts is part of Kingsmill’s market leading 50/50 range, with over 2.5m loaves sold across the one SKU each year alone.  The equivalent plastic of 750,000 bags will now be removed from Kingsmill’s supply chain during the trial.  

The bags are made using a technology called advanced recycling which upcycles used and mixed plastic to create plastic with the same purity and quality as traditional virgin material produced from fossil fuels. The recycled content comes from resin producer SABIC as part of their TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio and the bags were produced by packaging supplier St Johns Packaging. 

Kingsmill will be the first to pilot this ground-breaking technology within UK bread and bakery, helping to keep soft plastics in the supply chain rather than them going to incineration or landfill.  

Chris Craig, Kingsmill’s joint Managing Director, explains: “We are committed to finding solutions that tackle the plastic waste challenge.  This involves everything from investing in innovative solutions like the UK’s first bread bag featuring recycled content, to encouraging everyone to recycle their bread bags by returning them to larger supermarket stores.  

“Around 25 million bread bags are used in the UK every week, meaning consumers potentially get through up to 1.3 billion bread bags a year. Being able to funnel these bread bags back into the circular economy would help create a more sustainable future for the bread aisle and our planet. 

“But there is still work to be done on recycling infrastructure in the UK. That’s why we are working with our packaging suppliers to drive positive change. Trialling quantities of recycled content across our 50/50 No Crusts loaf is a major milestone in this journey.  

“To roll the trial out on a permanent basis as we hope, we need more soft plastic to be recycled which means recyclers need to build up their capacity and infrastructure to meet demand.”  

Alongside recycled content packaging, Kingsmill is also championing kerb side collections for bread bags and other soft plastics sooner than the 2026/27 date currently set out by local councils.   

Chris explains: “We want bread bags to be readily recycled as part of a consistent household kerb side collection, and then re-processed into other materials to ensure the bags remain in the recycling loop.  

“This needs to happen earlier than the proposed date of 2026/27 and we are calling for all parties, from other bakery brands and our supply chains to wider industry partners and government, to work together in driving positive, lasting change. For now, we continue to urge everyone to take their soft plastics to their nearest recycling points at larger supermarkets. The more everyone uses this facility, the more recycled material there will be to use in packaging that uses recycled rather than virgin plastic.” 

The launch of the trial is part of Kingsmill’s Slice of Kindness Pledge to do right by the nation’s health, local communities, and the planet.  

The pledge, announced in August, sets out a series of commitments and initiatives, including a new partnership with Save the Children to help tackle child poverty. Kingsmill will donate a minimum of £150,000 in the first year to the charity with a shared mission to “Power UK Families Everyday”. 

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