DIY waste targets

Published:  11 November, 2009

LONDON: Slow stock rotation poses problems for DIY retailers signed up to packaging reduction targets of 15% by 2012.

B&Q packaging design manager Jonathan Couper said: "Stock is taken quite slowly. If we changed each product now, it would take some two years for that to get through to the shop. In terms of achieving targets for 2012, we've got to make the changes next year."

In September, Argos, B&Q, Focus, Henkel, Homebase and Wickes agreed a 15% packaging reduction by the end of 2012, based on 2007 levels.

B&Q is measuring packaging volume and material type on product ranges. "Lighting is one of the areas we've got a particular focus on, as are power tools and paint," Couper said.

"It's about making recycling easy, and we know that plastics are a challenge and are difficult for consumers to identify," he said.

John Leader, environment manager at Wickes said: "We are focusing on establishing good practice guidance and connecting it with our suppliers to help buyers understand what's acceptable."

Packaging is one of Wickes's top five environmental impacts and taking a sector approach will enable better packaging innovation by engaging with the whole supply chain, Leader said. One of the areas the firm is looking at is packaging for floor tiles that can get damaged as customers pull down the front of the cardboard packs. "We are also looking at optimising packaging for nails and screws. There are general bags for about 15 varieties, so we could maybe change that," said Leader.

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