Bakers Basco, the membership scheme set up by Allied Bakeries, Fine Lady Bakeries, Frank Roberts & Sons, Hovis and Warburtons to provide and manage an industry-wide bakery equipment solution, has outlined the recent steps it has taken in an effort to build its own circular economy, with recycled baskets representing 33.62% of it’s annual damaged pool of baskets, of which the remaining 66.38% are repaired and returned back to the pool.
Since 2020/21, the number of baskets it has been able to repair and return to a state where they can be reused has jumped from 59.05% to 66.38% by the end of the 2022/23 financial year. Likewise, the recycled element has dropped from 40.95% down to 33.62% driven by the success of repairs. The key to the stats, is that Basco manages to either repair a basket or recycle it and use it again within new baskets, meaning that no damaged baskets within Basco control go to landfill.
As part of its sustainability journey, Bakers Basco has introduced 30% recycled material into its baskets and dollies to reduce its environmental footprint, creating its own circular economy by ensuring any damaged baskets beyond repair are used as part of this recycled material.
Between 2021/22 and 2022/23, Bakers Basco has increased its use of repaired baskets by 7.33%, while reducing the number of recycled baskets it uses across all operations by 7.33%
By stepping up its approach to reduce damages of equipment, Bakers Basco has been boosting efficiencies in what it does in the field by raising its internal targets to tackle and reduce abuse, increasing its use of GPS trackers, to ensure equipment is coming back into the supply chain, in turn, reducing the quantity of equipment it procures.
For example, between 2021/22 and 2022/23, Bakers Basco saw a 210% increase in notices to desist and a 262% increase in the number of collection notices issued across the UK. Bakers Basco also works in conjunction with the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) and Environmental Health and will continue this work over the coming months and years.
“There’s huge environmental value to a bread basket when used and recovered correctly,” said Paul Empson, General Manager of Bakers Basco. “We will continue to push this message throughout the industry, working with key partners and associations, to ensure that equipment is being returned safely so that it can feed into our own circular economy, showing that the bakery industry can play a part in reducing its environmental impact.”
The life of an Omega basket is a minimum of 8 years, during which time it will make an average 499 deliveries. Moving forward, 17.7% of the 1,000 tonnes per year of recycled material used to produce these baskets will be from Bakers Basco’s own circular economy and will continue to increase over time with the addition of a tan bale arm.
“It is important to recognise, the Omega is made with durability and longevity,” adds Empson. “The process one basket goes through in its lifetime through the supply chains, washing, un-loading and freezing etc. is in itself remarkable when you consider our rate of attrition. But year-on-year, we are reducing attrition and, as such, reducing the quantity of baskets that we procure.”