British American Tobacco - Waste

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Reducing product-related waste

Improving circularity – and driving a zero-waste economy – is vital part of our sustainability agenda. From using less plastic, creating less waste and recycling more, to being smarter in how our products are designed and disposed of by consumers.

We have ambitious goals for 2025:

  • -25% reduction in waste generated;
  • 90% recycling rate of waste generated;
  • <1% waste going to landfill
  • 100 % of Vuse and glo markets with device Take-Back schemes in place
  • 100% of packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; and
  • 30% average recycled content across all plastic packaging.

We have established cross-functional sustainability workstreams for all our product categories, which are using life cycle assessments to better understand the end-to-end waste footprints and identify opportunities to reduce them. This means being smarter in how we design our products and packaging, using less plastic and more recyclable materials, and supporting our consumers with responsible disposal.

By the end of 2022, 92% of our packaging was reusable, recyclable or compostable.

We’re focused on eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic from our Vuse packaging and products. Having successfully removed the silicone caps from e-liquid pods, in 2021 we replaced all plastic tray packaging with a pulp-based alternate.

In 2020, we also launched our new, recyclable packaging for our Velo mini modern oral products. This packaging is now made of a single polymer – polypropylene (PP) – rather than a combination of materials. PP recycling is widely accessible for households in many parts of the world. We started extending this in 2021 across our full Velo modern oral product range. Globally, over 80% of the cans used in our Velo products are made from recycled materials.

As for cigarettes, 93% of our plastic packaging can be recycled and all poly film, as well as tear-off strips used on packs, can be recycled (subject to local recycling infrastructure). We are also conducting trials on alternative plastic-free materials for cellulose acetate cigarette filters (filters classified as having plastic content).

Reducing waste in our operations

Product sustainability is a priority in our circular economy strategy, but we will not lose sight of other opportunities to be more circular across our business.

We will continue to strive for efficiencies in our manufacturing and logistics, we will leverage our purchasing power to promote goods and services that have a positive environmental impact and we will seek out the technology that can accelerate our journey.

In 2022, as well as achieving a further 8.6% reduction in absolute waste versus 2021, we also passed our initial target of a 15% reduction in waste from operations by 2025 against a 2017 baseline, achieving a 21.5% reduction. As a result, we have increased our target to a 25% reduction in waste from operations by 2025, against a 2017 baseline.

Find out more about our Operational Waste Breakdown (71 kb)

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