Westaway Sausages

This innovative and environmentally friendly Devon-based food manufacturer recently launched the first certified, home compostable, meat packaging.

As an SME keen to develop and grow their business, Westaway Sausages has been a valued customer of SWMAS since 2003, previously utilising the grant funding and specialist manufacturing support available to enhance their products, processes, and people.

Recently, and in consideration of the UK's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050, Westaway has turned their attention to reducing its carbon footprint. Being located deep in the Devon countryside has inspired Managing Director, Charles Baughan, to play his part in protecting the environment for the benefit of future generations.

Repackaging one of their products back in 2016 has cut their need for plastic trays by around 90,000 each year, followed in 2018 by a move to cardboard packaging, which has reduced their usage of black plastic by 7.2 tonnes.

Cardboard packaging used for Westaway products

When the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a reduction in sales and production volumes, Westaway saw this as an opportunity to further support the nationwide movement to cut single-use plastic. After much research and development, they found that FSC cardboard and unique EN13432 certified overwrap film is home compostable, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic meat packaging. This new film, made from a random polymer, is broken down by microbes secreting enzymes that metabolize the polymer back into carbon dioxide, water, and valuable compost. 

Westaway is thrilled to have launched this revolutionary product - the first certified, Home Compostable Meat Packaging, which will help to further reduce this company’s waste to landfill going forward.

“We understand that not all packaging ends up where it should, that’s why, wherever our packaging ends up, it will degrade, leaving no harmful residues or microplastics behind,” said Charles. 

The first, certified, Home Compostable Meat Packaging

Charles continued, “We have to be responsible towards our environment and I am very proud of what my team has achieved during these challenging times. We believe we are the first company in the UK to use this approach to packaging and probably the first in the world to use it for meat. If we, as a small SME in a rural county, can do this, there is no reason others can’t follow suit. I hope that, over time, this product will lower the need for single-use plastic right across the food and drink sector.” 

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Fully-funded business development support and grants are available to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies across the South West - read more here.