Aiming for zero

Waste has become a major issue in the natural environment, with too much ending up unmanaged and unwanted. Even where it is disposed of correctly, many landfills are now full, so we need to recycle, reuse and reduce waste at source.

We have reduced our waste production at manufacturing sites by 27%, in line with our target, and the majority of our manufacturing sites are no longer sending waste to landfill. In Brazil, our waste latex from condom production is being used by a shoe manufacturer to make shoe soles. This is a great example of the circular economy, where one industry’s trash can become another’s treasure.


Of our manufacturing operations with zero waste to landfill

Includes IFCN, for manufacturing operations only.


Reduction in waste per unit of production vs 2012

Excludes IFCN, for manufacturing and warehouse operations only.

2019 RB Sustainability Insights front cover

Waste from our operations

Read our Insight into how we are reducing waste across the business


Case studies

Our Nottingham manufacturing site hit 100% zero waste to landfill in 2017. Since then we have focused on finding more ways to reduce waste, recycle and reuse. For example, in 2019, our War on Waste programme led to advances in our Strepsils production, saving approximately 600 tonnes of process raw material waste and helping the site to reduce their waste per unit of production by over 30%.

The site has also eliminated 10,400 single-use bags for plastic packaging for tablets, moved to hand dryers (removing paper towels waste) and changed to boxes to collect blisters, eliminating 109,000 single-use bags from the process.

Core to the outcome of recycling schemes is the ability to sort at source. By integrating this concept into our Hull plant, by simplifying the waste system, introducing weekly waste audits and using clear signage, we have seen significant reduction of general solid waste. Effluent (liquid) waste has also decreased from 140 tonnes to under 20 tonnes, representing an 85% reduction.

Alongside production changes, education remains a key pillar in our strategy to reduce waste. During Education Week in May 2019, we ran programmes to increase awareness of best practice, highlighting to all colleagues the importance of recycling at source. Our Hull plant will now refocus their attention on reducing product line waste and recycling plastic bottles used in manufacturing.