Our approach to minimising waste has largely focussed on improving processes within our manufacturing locations. We seek to minimise the waste and waste to landfill associated with our products, packaging and production process through a combined approach of reduce, reuse and recycle.
We acknowledge that as our NGP business grows, we are faced with additional packaging waste and recyclability issues. We continue to look at how we can improve the sustainability of NGP materials and packaging. This includes looking at ways of increasing the amount of recycled and recyclable packaging used in our products.
As part of this work we have commissioned an independent lifecycle assessment of a myblu device. This assessment will examine all stages of the device’s life, from raw materials to production, distribution, use and disposal. The results will enable us to better understand and manage the associated environmental impacts. The findings from this study will be reported on in late 2020.
To support our consumers with the responsible disposal of our NGPs, a number of our markets have introduced ‘take-back’ schemes for vaping devices and pods. We have provided incentives to consumers to return their empty pods and associated waste and continue to assess responsible disposal methods that can be extended to other markets. See case studies for more information.
All consumers have a responsibility to properly dispose of their litter, whether this is cigarette butts and product packaging, chewing gum, drinks’ cans, fast food containers or any other items.
We believe the best approach to tackling litter is for key stakeholders, such as tobacco companies, government, environmental bodies, business and local communities to work together to educate and change people’s behaviour. During the year, employees from our Benelux site took part in a local beach clean; collecting litter and trying to raise awareness and change behaviours. See case studies for more information.
We take our responsibilities in the area of product development and environmental impact seriously and for many years we have worked with our material suppliers to research the decomposition process of filters and whether this can be sped up. Consumer acceptance and emissions regulation have meant that we are yet to find an alternative material substitute, however we remain committed to researching a new generation of filters. Further information on filters can be found on our Science website.
In our manufacturing operations we continuously seek to improve our processes and be more efficient. We aim to achieve the highest output on the basis of a lean way of working. Reducing complexity and the rollout of our Lean Manufacturing Programme continues to move us further towards better ways to working and streamlined processes.
Some of our operations are associated with small amounts of hazardous waste, for example from fluorescent lamps, paint and lubricant oils. We require sites to hold any hazardous waste in secure storage using suitable controls such as secondary containment, restricted access and appropriate ventilation, until suitable approved disposal is organised. See our Performance Summary for more detail.
Many of our office locations have committed to significantly reduce their plastic waste. During the year, our Sales office in Italy was formally recognised as plastic-free by the Italian government. The office is now included on the Italian Ministry of Environments list of plastic-free offices, as part of its ‘loSono Ambiente’ awareness campaign. See case studies for more information.